Cuttlebone casting is one of the oldest jewelry casting methods. It is quick and fairly accurate, its main limitations being the size of the item to be cast. However it is perfect for casting at a jewelry scale and produces a wonderful unique texture that is a favorite among jewelers and jewelry lovers alike.
Cuttlebone comes from a squid-like mollusk known as a cuttlefish. The cuttlefish has a chalky internal shell with a hard, thin crust surrounding a soft internal shell.Because the cuttlebone’s soft interior can be easily carved and withstand high temperatures make it perfect as a mold making material. These days cuttlebone can commonly be found in pet stores for parakeets and parrots as a bill sharpener.
The cuttlebone can be found on beaches after sea storms and the technique has been used in Mediterranean countries for centuries and was using in mass produced jewelry up until the 1950’s. These days the majority of cast jewelry is done by centrifugal casting which is faster and cheaper than cuttlebone for mass production. However it is still a favorite method among artists because of the unique texture that the cuttlebone produces on the metal and the spontaneity of the technique.
This texture is created naturally by the cuttlebone. It is reminiscent of ocean waves, shifting sands, and topographical maps. It can be uses as a small design element or the focal point of the piece. Learning to cast cuttlebone isn’t too hard and if you wanted to do it in your own studio the casting set up is much cheaper and easier than with lost wax casting. Jennifer Stenhouse will be teaching Cuttlefish Bone Casting: Beyond Texture with us Sunday, August 13th where she will give some tricks and tips that can extend the versatility of your cuttlebone designs. Come play with us and learn all about this wonderful technique:
Class Details: Cuttlefish Bone Casting:Beyond Texture
August 13, Sunday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $145| Basic materials included
To register give us a call at 206-524-0916 or stop by our studio at 5919 University Way NE, Seattle 98105