collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures      
  collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures      
 


collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculpturescollection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures

     
At last we were ready to go with a production batch. It was a surprisingly complicated affair... 70 compenents needed inspection, feeders adding, sections hollowing out, air holes filled and surfaces polished.      
  collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculpturescollection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures      
         
  At the foundry we set to building the wax tree. It took Liam and I four hours to put together. Amanda sorted and passed us the pieces in order as we fought over which hands were going to be dropped... We could only get six to fit on the feeder gate, so four hands had to be sacrificed.      
  collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures      
 


     
       
 

The shell. This is a slow process, and one of the costly and risky stages. The wax tree gets dipped in a high silicate colloid, with brush work to get it in all the nooks and crannies. This is repeated about five times until it looks like the above. Note the white fluffy bit of kerlane in the center of the photo.
When this has fully dried, it goes for a steam bath. The wax melts. All the effort is destroyed in a few minutes as it gets transferred to the super fragile shell.

     
         
       
  The moment of truth. 1600deg.C molten steel poured out of the furnace-crucible. The shell mould is just sitting on a pile of sand... Up to the right there is the shell pre-heater. It warms the mould up to 900 odd degrees, burning out any remaining wax and more importantly forcing all traces of water out. Could you imagine what would happen if molten steel hit a drop? A very nasty bang..      
         
       
  Bead blasting takes off the bits of shell that have not already collpsed from the metal shrinkage and beating with the big hammer.      
       
  Finally it goes through the cutter, separating components from the main feeder tree.      
  collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculpturescollection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures      
         
  This is almost the end of the tale. I then have the pleasure of taking the roughs and throwing time and efforts into the pieces until they come together.
     
         
 

collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculpturescollection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures

 

     
         
         
 


collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculpturescollection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures

     
  All that remained were for some bases to be made up and the final assembly. So photoshop goes to illustrator goes to an output file that plugs straight into the cnc control of a laser cutter/engraver via email... unbelievable what you can do these days!      
         
 
 
collection of beautiful bones, human skeleton and hand sculptures  

One of the things we noticed rather obviously at the foundry (Polycast) were the various stages of the Rolls Royce Spirit of ecstasy emblem alongside medical and turbine parts. Good to know the hands are in good company. As an odd little aside, some 20 years ago, as a skint undergraduate, I actually worked in this very foundry for a couple of days fettling castings (gibb snapshackles) as a temp. I subsequently aquired one of these shackles from the electro-polishing plant some months later that became my keyring for about 20 years.. It now lives onboard our pointy floating caravan, Restless.
Anyway, we have to say our man Liam (tech director) at the foundry was instrumental in helping and encouraging the project from concept to reality.

     
         
 
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