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Julia

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About Julia

  • Rank
    Mostly Harmless
  • Birthday 06/06/1987

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Yläne, Finland
  • Interests
    Casting, drawing, painting, jewelry, metalwork

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  1. Julia

    Z brush

    For Zbrush, I'd recommend to load Dirty Blue from the Pixologic download center, you can find it at the end of Matte directory. It's a material that gives a very close impression of what you'll get when you print the design and it's a color that's very easy for the eyes. Problem with other materials are, that all those nice brushstrokes that you spend hours to refine and look beautiful on screen, simply disappear when the model is printed. For the same reason, zoom out often and view the model in it's actual size (I have calipers next to my screen, so I can check how it looks when it's printed.) I design, print and cast jewerly, so just like with miniatures, I need a printer that is able to achieve some serious detail. Most of the pieces are no bigger than 10-15mm, which means the detail can be 0.25mm. That's tiny. Last year I decided to take a risk and bought a cheap resin lcd printer for prototyping and it's been priceless for the reason that I can print and change the pattern during the same day if there's something wrong with it. It's great for prototypes, but the plate is small, so if you're planning on mass-producing minis, choose the printer wisely. The technology is new and there has been problems with some units for both the printer I'm using and with others that share similar components; buying one now is sort of like playing lottery. I got lucky, but if I were you, I'd wait for an extra year. Not only the printers evolve, but the price of printing material goes down with high competition.
  2. Julia

    Using reference material

    I'm a metal artisan and a Refaholic. Part of my work is to design what I create and this involves the use of a TON of reference material: it doesn't matter if it's a personal project or a commission, with every project there's enough images to fill a book with. I simply don't trust my mind to fill in blanks, unless it's something completely alien or a subject that I'm 100% familiar with. I have a selection for inspiration alone, works done by artists that I admire to get me going, there're color themes that I want to infuse with the work (even when the end result will be made of metal), there're textures, anatomy, different subjects as plants and animals in various views, effects...you name it and there's a folder. I use more than 20 different reference images per a piece, but each set is for a different purpose: artists works and colored paintings are for mood that I'm after, anatomy/nature pics are for structure and texture + effects are for final details. Having a ton of reference to work with also builds your visual library, it's important. Once you work with something for enough times, you'll no longer need a reference for that subject. Here's a tip. It used to drive me to the verge of insanity to try to fit every picture that I wanted to work with into a single sheet of paper or load an image one by one, search pinterest or google and it becomes time consuming. If you find yourself using more than one reference, there's a life saving free app called PureRef. Get it. It can be set to remain on top of the program you're using and it can be made transparent. You can load everything that you want into that one screen and zoom in and out of whatever you're working with. It's simple, but would not work without it
  3. Julia

    Sculpting and casting

    Hey! Finally had some time to focus on a few personal projects. Making new spoons and I love it Were a little worried of how this is going to cast, as it was attached to the tree as a one single object and had just one sprue where the metal will enter the model. Made a test cast with bronze before attempting the same with silver and it was a success. Only downside were, that the ram itself should have been hollow, but it filled anyway; I'll need to add a little hole to the back, so that the air has somewhere to go when it's being compressed The idea is that the spoon is going to be long enough that when it's resting in a cup, it will look like the ram is balancing on top of those rocks. Then I made a new set of teeny tiny fox earrings Cya! Happy sculpting, everyone! ~Julia
  4. Julia

    Boxer Rebellion: Box-Turtle Folk, WIP

    Aaah, should visit more often. The sculpt is looking amazing! For a future reference to casting with different alloys, the flask should be about 400C below the melting point of your chosen metal; for silver, if you have big patterns flask temp of 560C is enough, for small and delicate patterns up to 600C and let it soak in about an hour before pouring, so that the inside of the flask has time to get to the same temperature as the outside of your flask. Same goes with bronze. Pewter on the other hand, has a real low melting point and becomes completely molten at around 300C, but for vacuum, you'll get better results with the melt being somewhere around 320-340C (flask temp of 260C sounds ok ). Have fun! ~Julia
  5. Julia

    Sculpting and casting

    Thanks, Kang I'm using a cheap resin printer, the level of detail is pretty amazing. Made a mold from the print. I've been testing with the vulcanizing press that I have and managed to create a mold by using natural rubber instead of silicone. I did try silicone to compare, but it warped the prints quite a bit. Natural rubber is more solid...downside is that it smells really awful
  6. Julia

    Sculpting and casting

    Well, hello! I'm sorry for being away for so long, been busy with new awesome toys! Slowly training CAD and 3D modeling for jewerly and bought a cheap resin printer to aid with super difficult and detailed models. I've had a blast! Now that the summer is finally here I've done insane amount of casting and pre-processing. New models done by hand and with an aid of printer means one happy metal artisan. The horoscopes are the first pieces modeled with a 3D program, my customer wanted them to be very detailed and the time given would not have been enough to create wax models by hand...this is where the new technology shines, without the printer, I would have been in deep shingles. I were happy to get them done in time, customer were happy to get the details he wanted, all's good. Attached several new designs, plus a flying hamster...just because
  7. Julia

    My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

    If you find yourself in a spot where you don't have any LoS, you can get the patina with boiled and smashed eggs. It just takes longer to produce a dark coating. I have played around with a torch and tried to get a nice color, but personally didn't like uneven patina it produced. In time the color difference is very visible and when there's spots that will darken more than others, the end result is not that appealing...it might have its uses, but have yet to find a design where it would work. At the moment I'm struggling to keep the silver nice and shiny; stored almost everything into sealed zip-locks with an anti-tarnish strips. It starts to get really frustrating when there's over 40 small pieces that needs to be cleaned in a regular basis, so that the tarnish doesn't get too deep. Have started to make more items that has a deep patina other than a high polish, just because I'm spending more time re-polishing than making new items to sell.
  8. Julia

    My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

    Oooooo, looks perfect! Well done! Are you going to leave them as they are or darken with liver of sulphur?
  9. Julia

    My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

    Hi, like I said before, I do not have an electrical kiln for melting, so I asked around and here's what I got: heat the metal at least 100F over the desired temperature, that way you'll ensure that the metal has melted completely. So in this case it'll be around 1880 deg, 1900 degrees also works and 2000 is a max before the metal is too hot to cause problems. Your burnout temperature is ok, 950 sounds about right for a casting temperature, 1000 is for finer designs: filigrees and such. I've heard that it's recommended to heat the flask 75-100F hotter when using a vacuum, but I'm yet to test it myself. There are two things that can cause partly filled casts: temperature and sprues. Like Kang said earlier, a failed burnout will leave evidence, the surface is like bad case of acne or a side of a moon with all those little craters and such. If it's too hot: it'll do craters, tiny holes, cavities, plus this stuff that looks like sand and if too cold, the metal doesn't usually even reach the sprues and looks kind of sluggish and sad. You don't have any of that, so my bet is in the sprues. With small objects like these, make them as short, even and straight as possible. Try to avoid curves, bumps and too much of tapering, because if the sprue gets too thin too fast, that kind of shape will act as a nozzle and it will sort of spray the metal around instead of moving it forward. The thickness should be around the same as the model's. If the sprue is too thick, I've noticed that not only does it slow the metal down, but it will act as a storage unit for heat and that'll cause porosity on the ring shank. One last thing is that I see that you're using a secondary sprue. Try to get it to fill at the same time as the main one; now what happened is that the main sprue started to fill ok, but the flow was suddenly cut by a secondary sprue which started to fill at a slightly different time than the main branch and without a good momentum, it solidified. Just a thought :) To be continued tomorrow, G'night!
  10. Julia

    My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

    Hi and ack! That's a real bummer and real odd is the way how the models are all only partly filled. I don't see any porosity or shrinkage due to temperature, the parts that has been filled looks solid, but there are a few things with the sprues that I need to take a closer look at. Looks like a flow issue. I'm a bit in a hurry at the moment, but I'll take a closer look of the model and sprues later today. What's your final kiln temperature and do you let the mold temperature set before pouring? ~Julia
  11. Julia

    My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

    Awesome! I can't afford to buy a Kerr either, can only dream and drool I've been looking for a used electric melting furnace, but people tend to ask for a same price as what you'd get by ordering brand new from China... Those graphite crucibles don't need to be seasoned, right? I've only heard about tempering to make them last longer. Do you have something to swirl the melted metal around to make sure it has liquefied completely? Like a charcoal stick or something? ~Julia
  12. Julia

    My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

    Hi, Sorry to hear about the cast gone bad. Have little knowledge about the electromelts, except that I'd like to have one :) Like you said yourself, It looks like the metal was too cold: we usually overheat it a little, because once you're ready to pour and especially with precious metals, at the beginning you tend to be more careful and try to pour slowly, which makes it to cool even more. (By the way, it will become easier as you'll get rid of the idea of pouring silver...it's just the mental image of pouring something expensive that gets on the way. I had that at the beginning and having silver dust at my clothes ended to this atom search and could spent quite some time gathering every little bit I found...now I just pretty much dust my clothes like it's wood dust. Same goes with the casts, now it's just like bronze, but the color is different :D I also like to use long cylinders and long trees for all of the casts, even if there's not too many items to be cast. I'll lose some investment in the process, but the casts turn out better because the poured material gathers speed along the way and the fill rate is much better, because at the end of the tree the velocity forces the material into the small cavities better than anything else. Was the crucible coated before you started to melt the silver? Was it a new one? I've had a cast go nasty, because the crucible had too much sediment from previous casts: the metal didn't melt at all, it remained in this weird gummy state. Anyway, the pink stuff is copper, I normally don't do anything about it. It might look like it's a big portion of the copper content, but it's not. It usually comes off by scrubbing with a brass brush. It would only make a difference if you'd keep on melting the same item over and over again. The copper would eventually burn away.
  13. Julia

    Boxer Rebellion: Box-Turtle Folk, WIP

    Hey, You can cut the bronze bar into chunks with an angle grinder, but it's not a fun task: lots and lots of fine bronze dust, sparkled like a champ for a few days. We use an old horizontal metal bandsaw, the saw itself is something specific for stainless steel, but the bronze is so soft that a normal saw blade will do just fine.
  14. Julia

    Sculpting and casting

    Hey! Just finished The Last Order. Phew. I look like something 'fresh' dug straight out of a grave; ragged clothes, dirty hands, messy hair and a pale winter face to match the rest. My husband has been reading zombie novels and is convinced that I'll Turn in any given moment Jeeze, what a month! Anyways, thank you robin and Kang! The spirals were tricky and without the small gates, there's no doubt that the spirals would have been incomplete. I did notice some shrinkage, so next time, I'll make the gates a little bit bigger to ensure a good flow. Finished the milk churns. Ended up using silver sheet and wire instead of casting. We had some nasty weather which blinked our power on and off. Power failure and kiln...umh, no thank you. I'm off to rummage through the fridge, make a fortress out of blankets and pillows...and then I'll buy a book. My whole meaning of existence for the next day or two is to get fat and happy. Sounds like a plan. It's the Best plan ever. ~Julia
  15. Julia

    Sculpting and casting

    Whoo! Thanks for the luck The cast was a success! The picture below is what it looked like after I removed the investment with citric acid. This tree were cast in silver, so those white specs that you see is actually fine silver and the gray stuff is oxidation- this is normal, I use 925 sterling silver which has 92.5% of fine silver and the rest is copper. The copper in the silver reacts with oxygen and what you'll get is that dark surface, which needs to be removed before polishing. That's what I'm doing now. Lots and lots of sanding, sawing and filing. Here's a few of those hands after the first rough sanding. Had no dents or holes, which is really nice: Back to work, cya! ~Julia
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