Sorry for not replying to these sooner–I had to get the job
finished and delivered by this afternoon.
As the story goes, I had to carve a logo for a choir and make 30
charms by June 1, within a 2 week time frame. I’m not fast, and I
alone, so I needed the full 2 weeks to get this done. Carved the logo
but didn’t have time to cast it and make a mold of the casting. So I
made an RTV mold of the original wax. But when I carved it I missed
polishing out some fairly deep scratches that were nicely reproduced
by the mold. (that’s what I get for hurrying…) So I had a bunch of
injection waxes that all needed major finishing work before I could
cast them. That’s when asked about nail polish burning out.
I tried various kinds of nail polish that I already had here. One of
the polishes was a thick protective top coat that was made to harden
quickly when exposed to the heat of a standard incandescent light
bulb. I discovered by accident that it hardened even faster when
exposed to the light of a full-spectrum fluorescent bulb. It made
those waxes as smooth and shiny as possible in just seconds, and
filled in the surface scratches beautifully. I hope I can find more
of this stuff when I run out–it is extremely useful!
I cast a few extra waxes coated with other nail polishes. The one
that hardened under the light worked great, and the castings were
quite smooth. But some of the other polishes left an alligator skin
surface on the charms. Neat effect, but not what I wanted. I may try
it on an alligator carving someday. And my burnout kiln has a vent
fan right above it, so the fumes go right outside, rather than into
the shop, which is in my basement… Not that I enjoy polluting, but
I’d rather have the fumes go outside where they will be diluted by
fresh air instead of spreading throughout the inside of my house.
Thanks for all the replies. I may be doing another logo for another
choir soon, as a musician friend of the choir director I did this job
for was present when I delivered the jewelry today. He was interested
in having me do some jewelry for the board of directors of his
choir. When I get that job (positive attitude, right?) I’ll try some
of your suggestions on that carving!
Feathered Gems Jewelry