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Free form gold splashes


I can’t seem to duplicate the flat bumpy shape I got one time when
melting 3mm spheres of gold and then letting them fall into the
water. They keep staying in the shape of a sphere, but I want to use
that flatter bumpy shape as decorative elements on a piece. Could
someone let me know how I can consistently get the splashy look? Just
flattening a sphere with a hammer is not the look I want. Thanks,


hello Sue, melt the metal all at once, not in individual beads. It
will blow apart in small free-form bits when it hits the water. You
can experiment with the distance you let it fall in order to change
the size of these pieces. Have fun. Tom Arnold


Drop the metal closer to the water.

When you drop molten metal from a reasonable height surface tension
makes the metal form spheres.

There was a shot tower in a Melbourne shopping centre that always
fascinated me. The molten lead would be poured through a grate at
the top of the tower, the pellets would fall, forming spheres and end
up in a pool of water. If the pellets were dropped closer to the
water they wouldn’t form spheres.

Regards Charles A.



I have made hundreds of these, very simple add lots of ice! You can
pour over ice on the ice used crushed ice or… Temp of water makes
a difference but mostly how high from the water

Chip Stone


If I wanted that shape, Id make the 3mm spheres as you do, then, Id
take a piece of carbon steel like a center punch. Grind and polish
it to a 3m hemisphere then drive this into another piece of carbon
steel to the depth you want. Harden it. then place your 3mm balls in
the depression and tap with a hammer. youll get consistent shaped
beads all day long.

Try it
its easy with the tooling.


Probably been said but you need a big enough mass of metal to keep
it molten as you pour it. Depending upon the distance between your
pour and the water you will get different sizes of droplets but a lot
of similar size. If you want to change the size and shape you need to
make the pour nearer or further away, change the metal mass and
change the water temp. A deep bucket of iced water made me some
pretty good shapes when I first tried this for my portfolio of work
to try get into art college in 1978. Havent done much since but it is
fun to experiment and when you get what you want make a note of all
the variables like metall mass, temperature and drop to water depth.
A word of caution- never try and pour metal into a small volume of
water or too shallow water. You can get a steam explosion.

Nick Royall