Friday, November 5, 2010

WIP--ear gages

Several young friends and a couple of customers have suggested that some of my work would go well in ear gages, those larger-than-earring-sized objects that have been appearing in a lot of lobes (at least around here).
Our friend/sometimes roommate/partner of Chase Carolne has 00gages in opal or opalite that look really good, so I recruited her as a consultant and bought some gages for experimenting. I also bought some Easy Cast, which I can now recommend - it sets fairly quickly and perfectly clear, unlike the Diamond Glaze that was giving me problems.  It's a bit harder to use--a 2  part resin that requires measuring and mixing-- but I think it's worth it.
We stuck the tubes to fac-up packing tape to hold the resin in. Relatively successful. though next time I think we'll use a see-through surface.
I set some of the gages up with things I thought might work & ranthem past Caroline and Chase. Then last night, while Caroline was at school, Chase and I mixed the stuff up, sort of layered it and added things, and the pics below are what we have now.
Measurung: Each batch of 6 oz. or less requires 3 plastic vessels and 2 plastic or wood stirrers, all of which have to be tossed after use. So. I bought 100 small thin white plastic cups , which we marked (on the outside) with a permanent marker line at the same level. We could see the mark fromthe inside (THIN plastic cup) so just poured each part to the mark. Then we poured them together & stirred (we were using washed popsicle sticks, but I'm hoping to get something next time we go to the restaurant supply place--till then we have some thickish skewers, but I don't think round is the ideal shape) for the required 2 min, then moved to another cup and stirred with a clean stick for another 2 min. It worked really well.

Anyway, so there we were with a cup of goop and quite a few gages, in silcone, wood, ad horn. We also have one metal one, but we were only doing tubes and it's closed.   Preliminary results suggest that
1. we need more research on glue to hold anything to silicone.
2. silicone gages work nicely filled with resin, but may work even better as molds.
3. wooden gages can have things glued on, and are dynamite with resin and inclusions.
Silicone and horn (red flowers) are also great.
4. Diamond Glaze, which we tried using to hold a few things that didn't require transparency, stays runny in silicone & is a poor choice for this project.
5. We used 2or 3 different Beacon glues--experiment, remember--and all worked well with wood but not silicone. I triend some Flexible, Stretchable with the silicone, but it was old and runny. I'll give it another shot with a new jar--the problem is that the silicone tubes flex off the glue, so that seems like one way to go. Another may be to use some sort of caulk, but we're not going there yet. If anyone's had any success with a adhesive for silicone, do please let us know.

So this is what we have--final cleanup, any sanding, etc. still to be done. A little more pouring to top things up, too, but you can at least get an idea of where this is going. 

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