Last winter, when we had to put our old cat Mongo down, I mentioned I was thinking about making a piece of tribute jewelry for him. Since I started learning a bit about casting last spring, I had an idea on how to make something really personalized. I wasn’t totally sold on the idea, but I told my husband about it and he really wanted it done. So: I’m going to cast his pawprint. His toe beans.
After the old man shuffled off this mortal coil, and before he was sent to the crematorium, someone at the vet’s office cast his paw prints into a piece of polymer clay (Sculpey or Fimo or somesuch), stamped his name on it, and apparently sprayed a little glittery stuff on it. It’s a nice tribute piece, and I’m glad they do it. Especially since . . .
Working in the kitchen: do as I say, not as I do.
. . . it’s super easy to use it as a mold. Here I’ve taken a few sheets of casting wax, melted them in a double boiler on my range top (using one of my “no food use” Pyrex dishes), and then painted the wax layer by layer in the paw print. I did this at home because Bob suggested I use a bit of olive oil to keep the wax from sticking and, well, I’ve got olive oil at home. I did a test patch on the back without incident, and proceeded to the front.
The good news: it worked. The bad news: It looks kind of doofy.
Bob gave me a good idea yesterday–flatten the back by melting it a little on the . . . uh, wax-melting thing, and then cut out the pads with a hot metal tool. Cast them in brass, maybe, and solder them onto a silver disc.
Now that sounds awesome.
I did get the back flat in class last night, and I think I’ll use a candle and an old, dull Exacto knife at home this week to get the toes out. We’ll see how this progresses. Meanwhile, as usual, I’ve got a few other things going on but no time to talk about them right now.