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!!

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