Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
I intend to further explore the possibilities of Cuttlefish Bone Casting.
In the Mediterranean countries the use of cuttlefish bone as a mould to cast small objects. has been widespread for centuries.
Cuttlebones, usually small size, are stranded on the beaches after sea storms; I was born in Venice and made my first castings with these bones.
Up to a few decades ago I could still see a string of cuttlebones hung on the wall in old workshops, goldsmiths used to have a great number of models, mostly rings, to be impressed into the bones, whose number constantly improved with new commissions from customers. Waste wax casting has now completely supplanted the Cuttlefish Bone Casting technique for reproducing purposes. As it happened to painting, which after photography, relieved of the need of resemblance found new fields to explore, Cuttlefish Bone Casting, no more tied to the reproduction of models can be used as a creative tool. Not depending on big machinery, Cuttlefish Bone Casting is an inexpensive and versatile technique, probably the fastest and easiest way to cast a metal object. As a creative tool Cuttlefish Bone Casting offers many possibilities, it can give a wide range of results, allows for experiments, has space for the unexpexted, invites serendipity: every bone is different and every cast is a surprise, sometimes a suggestion disguised as a mistake.
These are the particular field I wish to further investigate:
- Castings of bezels and prongs .
- Rings cast straight and then bent
- Complex assembly to get multiple casts
- Using ridges, fins and layer orientation for asestethic purpose
- Casting of small tubes and sheet, damascus and mokume-like effects
- Inclusion of glass and stones
- Modular and combined castings, metal on metal.
- Whatever inspires me from unexpected results in the course of the project or from suggestions from fellow workers.
I think that Cuttlefish Bone Casting deserves a revival and an update. There's many a book on specific metal techniques, but I don't know of any on Cuttlefish Bone Casting, just a few pages in most goldsmithing manuals, so I intend to write a book on the subject.
Start date of project and duration:
October to December 2013
Location of project:
Artist's study at Casa Funky, 47864 Pennabilli, Italy
Requested funding amount:
Other information, e.g. images or other relevant (visual) documentation to further illustrate project: