Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dragon Stuff.


I got the body pretty finished .


I just have to do some minor things and maybe make the wings matt.

The wings look relatively simple, but they were one of the more difficult things I have made in my life.

Lots and lots of patience and I am still not 100% happy.


Today I start on the base and the plinth which will hold the dedicated jewellery I am going to make for this piece.


I am going to make a wood base and then cover it with burnt copper.


The bottom of the plinth is going to have this design as the base that will be engraved in brass and set with garnets.

I want to use garnets though out the entire sculpture—I like the red and the dragon bit.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dragon Futheration



I set 32 2mm garnets in silver tubes and then set those silver tubes into the tail

Now I am going to engrave scales on the yellow part and the there come little silver spines into the copper overlay—maybe.

With this kind of work I always have the idea and then when the work is done is looks miff.

So I‘m not to sure about the spines—it might look over done.



I nearly finished her head.


Just a few more adjustments to do.

The eyes are cabochon garnets.

There are also faceted garnets set in her head.


With a flash.

Her name is Antikythera.

This is actually a name of a Greek island, where an unbelievably advanced analog computer was found by sponge divers in 1900.

It was made about 100-200 BC and was able to work out the eclipse and planetary movements and all that space age stuff.

Anyway, my dragon was intimately involved in all this but I can’t say any more because otherwise the Greek Gods are going to get pissed off with me and on NEVER wants to piss Greek Gods off.

We have a contractual agreement that I am only allowed to reveal the whole story once Antikythera is finished.

So there.




Like I said in a previous post, Germans like putting creepy things in front of their homes.

He’s watching you dude.


Douche pilot drives this car.

You got to figure.


A slightly un PC advert for a braai cooker .

Not cheap either, but these days South Africans have discovered that black labor is anything but cheap, right?


My Orchid is Orchiding.

I look after her well, but it is amazing that she survives—in a place that often has evil chemicals in the air, no natural light and rock music all day long.

She rocks!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

More Dragon Stuff.



Planning the wings.

I decided to do the inside of the wings first,


It’s tricky work, what with the balance and all.


That was sort of the basic attitude I wanted the wings to have.


I was messing around with an engraving technique I designed.

That is, I want to have scales on the dragon in various areas, so I thought the ‘bones’ of the wing might be a good place to experiment.


I ground a graver into a concave cutting face.


Here is a close up.

After the main ‘scales’ are raised, they get polished down to give the smooth scale effect.


These are the wings independently attached to the body.


The back of the wings are very visible in this sculpture, so I too extra time to design then to be in balance with the front.


Then I made the crest out of a sandwich of brass and copper.


The crest is held in place with a silver spike I turned out of silver.

It looks a bit unicorn-ish but when I get further with the bells and whistles, I will bend it to face forward.


I made this pendant for an American doctor who was attending a medical conference here.

It is the logo for Dusseldorf.

He buys his wife something representing the city he goes to every time. Cool.


Also made this set for an internet order to the USA.


Including this bracelet.

We sell more jewellery internationally than to locals.

Locals are conservative and they don’t embrace change.


You never see these fuckers during the week, but on Sunday, when the frikken church says all the shops must be closed, that when the foreskin babies crawl out from underneath the rocks and start fining cars.

A pox on them.


Seen in the front of a German garden.

Imagine having this thing staring into your bedroom window.

It’s got really weird eyes, that one.

Germans are strange like that.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dragon Stuff


To make the tail I had to take all the off cuts of wax and melt then into a pot so I got a big fat chunk.

Once it was cool I cut an oversize tail out of it and started carving.


Until I got here.


Then I cast the interface with the body.


I cut the tail in four sections to make casting easier.


It screws in.




Designing the wings.


They are going to be made with a brass frame work and clad in copper.



About a year ago, my sis in law was here with the family.

When she left she gave Anne a plant with flowers.

Normally in a workshop with absolutely no natural daylight, heavy duty fumes and smoke and chemicals, plants croak very fast.

So I put this victim on the top of my screw shelf and said “Dude, it is now up to you”.

“ I’ll give you water, and talk to you like Prince Charles does, but the growing part is up to you”

His name is now Survival.

He grew a bunch of leaves and then proceeded to start growing some serious new flowers.

All under fluorescent lights.

My kind of plant---never stop, never give up.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dead End Rivets



Often, when I am busy on a project, I have a need to rivet something in place in an area that does not allow me to drill right through to peen the rivet over on both sides.

The other options are to make tiny screws and tap a hole, but when this comes down to 1mm taps, it gets very wearisome very quickly.

The other option is to solder the object in place, but often that is not easy or even possible, depending on how finished the object is.

Also just putting a pin in the hole and hammering it down does not work well at all.

What I wanted was a rawl type plug that would expand at the bottom like a masonry bolt.

The problem is I never know what ACUALLY happens at the bottom.

So I made two flat pieces of plate and tapped the one side and screwed them together.

Then I drilled a 1mm hole down the seam.

Now I could split them apart to see what happened.



I drew down some wire from 2.5mm to 1mm without annealing.

That made it semi hard, so when it gets tapped down, it would not collapse on itself.

I used a fine three corner file to file a notch into the wire at the bottom, making sure it would collapse there.


After I had drilled the 1mm hole about 4mm deep, I used a setting burr to create a cavity at the bottom of the hole.


I used copper and silver but of course one could just as easily use gold.

The picture shows the collapse of the bottom of the rivet into the cavity.


So then I riveted a piece of brass to the two plates as if I were doing a real job.


When the two plates were split, revealed that the rivets had collapsed nicely.


The holes in the bottom are previous endeavors.


Prying the plate off proved satisfyingly difficult.

One can clearly see how the rivet tops deformed before the bottom let go.

While this method will probably not be good for critical components, it will work perfectly well  small objects like the plate shown.

Some further questions answered.


Noel asked whether a straight rivet without a notch filed in would also work – nope, it does not seem to collapse enough.

Another question was whether the holes had to be deep.

2.5mm works well.


And finally, how does one make the cavity in the bottom.

So I put the burr in the hole by way of explanation.

Very easy.

Further Update.


So while I was working on my dragon I decided to use this method to do some copper overlay work.

Then I made a mistake, the piece was positioned incorrectly and also much to far away from the crest.

So this was a perfect opportunity to pull the rivets out and see how they actually hold in real life, not with a test piece.


The first one pulled out, but with much difficulty.

As can be seen, the copper overlay was very distorted.


Here is a close up of the rivet.

As one can see, the notch that I filed in the rivet did not collapse completely, so that was why I could still pull it out.


The second one did not pull out and the overlay metal tore open.

I had to in fact drill it out, there was no way I could pull it out with pliers.

I assume the the notch did collapse completely in this one.


Here is a picture of the dragon neck with the one rivet out and the other still in.

I am very happy with this method.