Jan

9

but i’m not talking rolling stones here– i am talking about GLUE, my friends!! nope, not the kind you sniff either, but good ol’ sticky stuff for putting things together. sometimes glue can be good, but i have just recently concluded that glue can be a bad thing at times as well.

take, f’rinstance, the large seahorse ring i have been working on of late. this one is for a friend of mine in florida, using one of my large seahorse pendant waxes. i wanted a clean bond between it and the shank (portion of the ring which goes around the finger) wax, so i had the great idea of using superglue to make the bond. however, when i did the casting it ended up with loads of porosity and looked sloppy, even though my technique while casting was very good. at first i thought i must have overheated the gold, but when i looked at it closely, most of the problem areas were where i had used the glue. i guess that the glue isn’t affected enough by the burnout– the part of the casting operation where the wax is vaporised in an oven– obviously much of it remained and so i wasted a lot of effort and work on doing this wax. i am currently cutting a new wax for the piece, but using more wax to hold things in place– i’ll just have to deal with all the extra work involved with this. here you can see the crummy casting and the newer (albeit very primitive-looking still) wax– ugly now, but it is going to take off soon!!

but superglue is not all bad– about a year and a half ago i met a dude along the maleco’n– he was a person of the street you could say, but had a good heart. he drew portraits in the bars to earn money, and i gave him a couple of large boxes of bottles of different-colored inks i had laying about, just to help out. he told me his life story, which included– according to him– living and working in italy at a marble quarry, and cutting stone etc. he told me about using superglue to bond together “checks”– little areas where the stone seemed to have some hairline cracks. i really didn’t know whether to trust his word or not, to be sure– however, a couple of days ago i found myself needing to try SOMETHING in an area where my rasps were chewing up too much stone. with bated breath i tried out the technique– and it worked– amazing stuff, really. it made a big difference in that area, and here and now i send juan– johnny– a big THANK YOU!! direct from my heart.

and finally– it was time to do something i had been anticipating– and fearing– for some time. the repairs to the arm of the upper figure on my sculpture, where the wild quarrying hole sat. over the past few weeks i have patiently sanded on the area, making a big flat spot, plus flattening a piece of marble to bond over top of it. finally i made up my mind to do it, and so i mixed up the special adhesive i bought a couple of years ago to use for just this job. oog. this stuff got ALL OVER THE PLACE– all over my hands, and all over the sculpture and in general made a mess. i had to stand in an awkward position and hold the piece of stone against the sculpture– it seemed to take eons for it to set up, but it finally did– with the sound a frozen river makes in the spring when it finally begins to thaw. of course, when the glue hardened up between the two pieces of stone it also did the same all over my hands– peeling that crap off was no fun, i can tell you!! this stuff is like super epoxy, and it makes a real bond.

and today i spent my whole sculpting time in taking that little slab of stone down and trying to make it fit in with the rest of the arm– no mean feat– but it looks as if it is coming along nicely. now i have a few other areas that i shall have to use this glue on, hopefully i shall have it a little more together when i do. the arm is looking pretty good though, and i am truly hopeful with it. i am going to finish this piece up sometime this year, if the creek don’t rise– stay tuned in and you can be there with me!!

Jan

1

a href=”http://caribbeanrance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/eagle-1b.jpg”>well, our water finally has cooled off somewhat, and depending upon whose computer you trust the temps are somewhere between 81 degrees and 77 degrees. personally i find computers to be either pessimistic or optimistic– mine is the latter and my friend tony’s the former.

but no mind– with the lowered temperatures come the eagle rays, to mate and hang out. we see them more often on the park reefs– singles and pairs mostly. if you really want to SEE THE EAGLE RAYS you need to go to the north, to a wall that is called “cantarell”. we drop off the boat and proceed towards the wall, either fighting the current to get into the wall or fighting it to get out to the wall, as the current is always messing with you there. finally we arrive at a place where there is a little bit of shelter from the current and i get the clients to take the air out of their BCDs and settle down and wait a bit. it usually takes a few minutes, but finally they start poking their noses out of the somewhat darkened water to the north– as if stepping from behind an invisible curtain they appear– two, no three… ahh, five, nope six. finally at times there are squadrons of ten or a dozen of them, slowly moving up against the current, like stately ships they move.this last time there were only eight, but they kept on coming back and around, closer and closer. we maintained our positions and stayed down, making no agressive actions, and the eagle rays kept moving along, coming closer and closer yet. thanks to the miracle of nitrox, we could extend our stay along the wall, and the longer we stayed the closer they came. the rays are as curious about us as we are about them, and when they feel safe and secure they get downright friendly.it seems like they have sortuv cat’s eyes, with a vertical slit for a pupil, and they are checking us out pretty good. all super stuff, but their last pass before we had to exit the wall, our bottom time getting a little low and some people’s air getting a little low, was stupendous– they were maybe three four five feet away, balanced and majestic, hardly moving, watching us intently watching them.