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Nightmare Moon Pendent Version 1 by ChaosDrop Nightmare Moon Pendent Version 1 by ChaosDrop
The first of hopefully many finished pieces!

There is a lot of trial and error that comes to lost wax casting... Investment is some seriously picky stuff, different types of metals all act differently, and polishing/finishing should probably be considered an art form of it's own.

 (30x32x4mm) Ancient Bronze [Lead/Zinc Free, Tarnish-Resistant, a great mix of strength and durability.] Sold, but others will soon be available here

Thank you for looking/reading and I hope I can make a lot more awesome stuff for you guys!
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ChilledFrost Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Mind if I ask what items you use to cast because my sand/clay casting gets buggy and I come out with alot of defect for my pendants
ChaosDrop Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's taking quite a bit of time to work out a lot of defects even in my way of casting. So many things are so very picky.

Mainly my work flow/tools are Wax -> Flasks > Investment > Burnout Oven > Melting furnace & Vacuum Caster > Hand Finishing/Polishing.

Wax = Needs to be cleaned before use to avoid impurities in the burn out.
Flasks = Need to be cleaned really well between every use.
Investment = Needs to be mixed in just the right ratios and in just the right climate with just the right tools.
Melting furnace = A different crucible needs to be used for every metal, and you strive to only use new clean metal each time.

Even when all things go right unlike stamping, water cutting, or milling, casts really seem to always need quite a bit of hand finishing, which is one thing keeping me from getting my stuff listed on etsy. I'd like to sell things for around the $75~85 range but unless I can get the by hand post processing down by a lot more it's not going to happen at that price point, right now the cheapest I could sell things for would be around $100~$150 per piece due to all the extra time involved. Though as I talk to other people who do casting that seems to really be the standard unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to dump into equipment you really just can't sell much for quality casts under $100 a piece... 
ChilledFrost Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I was thinking about wax casting. also Heard of gallium? melts at 95 degrees F. I heard its nice for casting because itll hold its shape until u apply heat I do not need to worry about metal cost because of friends and family. And my school has all the equipment I need but our furnace takes alooong time to heat up. im just wondering if doing a wax and clay mould would be better then sand and clay.?
ChaosDrop Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought about looking into gallium as an alloying metal to get a better flow to fill in hard vent molds better, but since it's not an industry standard it adds way to much overhead in time and cost....

Yeah furnace's are always pretty time consuming... and there's no good way to cheat around it either since the lead time is a very important step and bad things happen if you try useing things that just jump straight to high temperatures. XP

I may be reading the last part completely wrong... It sounds like you actually want to be casting things to clay? (I think in your first comment I read clay as investment since that's what you use in Platinum casting as investment.)

If that's the case you may actually look into wax/soap carving > silicon molds > plaster as an alternative. You can get some really good rocks solid curing plasters which will give you a lot to work with, and than you don't have to deal with a lot of the worst parts to casting.
ChilledFrost Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
OOOOh thanks for the info see im going to be casting Ancient Bronze (pain in the ass), .999 silver / sterling, Brass, and Gold (collection of worthless gold coins that are only worth their gold + salvaged) But yes my beginning investment was glue like sand with some clay if I wanted it to look nice. But I feel like switching to just clay. I would try silicon  but I've had a few burnings/melting at high temps for some of the metals I work with. Im thinking of sticking with a wax cast piece and then using clay as an investment. Just for the factor I holds up to high temps and I can use it multiple times. I do really want to mass produce that pendant and the lunar one because they look sooo badass! 
ChaosDrop Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The clay types used in Stainless and Platinum casting are suppose to give you better finishing results, at least that's what I've heard. I haven't ever used them myself though since everything else about them seems pretty time consuming and costly for small production. The outsourcing shops my brother-in-law uses for his stuff charges an extra $80 a piece for Stainless and Platinum casts just because the the investment and flasks are so much harder to deal with and more expense than the normal silica sand investment used commonly for pretty much everything else.  Really the silica sand investment works pretty well, as long as you treat it just right, the stuff is damn picky though.

I know I'm looking forward to being able to do good production of my FiM pendants, once I really figure out ways to cut down on post processing a bit more so I can sell them at the price point I want. Though of course I'm looking forward to making new designs even more, which is my main reason for trying to get the casting and finishing as streamlined as possible so I can spend as little time on that side as possible, well providing products to be proud of.

If you actually do the clay investment I'd be really interested to know how it really pans out in terms of added hassle and cost to quality ratio.
ChilledFrost Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Alrighty Ill letcha know as soon as I get my lazy ass up lol.
clubpenguin1 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
so awesome :)
PencilPonies Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's EPIC. Looks like something that you could buy in a store! :D
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lovely pendent!
Slasher0001 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
That looks so cool :D
Awesome job!
ChaosDrop Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! It's hopefully just the tip of the iceberg.
I know the Nightmare Moon symbol is a little over done, but it made for great post processing practice.
The Alliance pendants I'm working on next are to me the truly awesome pieces, and I can hardly wait 'til I can get some finished ones to show off.  
CausticRevelation Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
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Submitted on
January 13, 2014
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Jan 13, 2014, 3:46:12 PM