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Cuttlefish Casting with Barbara Mann May 22 & 29, 2021  1:00-3:00 p.m. ET 

Cuttlefish Casting

with Barbara Mann
Virtual Two-Part Demonstration Workshop using the Zoom Platform
May 22 & 29, 2021  | Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET 
This workshop will give participants the skills and inspiration to cast jewelry or a small-scale object in sterling silver. Using the ancient technique of cuttlebone casting, students will learn to make molds into which molten metal will be poured. Within minutes after casting, the molds are opened and the metal objects are ready for finishing. Students will learn how to use a jeweler's saw, hand files, abrasive paper and how to patina metal and use a rotary tumbler for polishing. 

The cuttlefish is a squid-like creature whose skeleton can be found on the beach.  It is soft enough to carve and has a beautiful wood grain-like pattern which yields a rich texture on the surface of the cast metal. There are several ways to prepare the molds from the cuttlebone, including direct carving, making a mold cavity by pressure (pushing something hard into the soft surface of the mold) or by creating a negative space in a sheet of mat board which is placed between the two halves of the mold.  This may sound complicated, but it is not. The process is fun and students should be able to create one to two pieces during the day. 

During the workshop we will talk about other methods of casting, alloying metal, when to cast and when to fabricate a metal project.
  • participants must have the ZOOM video platform dowloaded on a computer or phone to participate
  • students are encouraged to work in between sessions
  • see suggested materials list here
  • students will receive access to the recorded demonstrations for up to two weeks