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Aug 31

Keyhole Tumbler 4

Here you can see both the background text (made with a rubber stamp, highlighted with iron oxide after bisqued) and the sprig.

I wanted to make sprigs of keys and keyholes, for a steampunk theme (goes with the text. Don’t ask, in my mind they go well together. Garth Nix will back me up here.) First I took the positive, in this case metal keys and keyholes I bought at Michaels. I made a silicone rubber mold of it, then made a positive of the key using paraffin. Any day you get to play with melted wax is a good day, I think.

I have what I think is an ingenious method for making sure that the amorphously-backed molds lay flat enough to fill with molten wax. I have a shallow plastic container that I filled with lentils.  When I nestle them in the lentils, they lay flat. Unfortunately, some of the wax spilled so I had a not-so-ingenious method of reclaiming the wax and the lentils. I simmered them until the wax was melted again, then tried to fish out the lentils.  I ended up with a waxy block of cooked lentils. Looked cool, smelled like food, but wasn’t useful.

The wax keys and keyholes turned out to be not-so-ingenious either. They’re better than trying to make a plaster mold of metal, because you don’t have to damage the mold digging them out, but I’ll explain why they don’t work in the next post.

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