Dog Sculpture Continues

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Further progress on the dog sculpture. Its been raining here all week AGAIN. However, today I was off work and the rain stopped, so I got myself set up to do the casting this morning. Below are pics of the results, but first some pics of the shell application.

First layer of slurry and stucco. The green/yellow colour is a pigment in the binder that changes to orange when the coat has dried

Second layer

About the 4th layer I think.

Final layer of slurry to secure the particles of the last stucco layer stop them dropping off and leaving bits everywhere

Another wax I did at the same time

Same wax with some ceramic shell applied. This image clearly shows how the exposed surfaces dry much faster than the nooks. The orange indicates its dry enough for the next stage, yellow = still damp.

I actually did three shells in total this run here are the two others besides the dog

Two done one to go. At this stage I had to wait for another batch of bronze to melt.

The aftermath. The little piece of rod on the left is my steel stirrer that melted and fell off. I had the furnace burning much longer this run as I was cleaning up alot of crudy left over bronze and also I needed to refill the crucible to do the three shells, so I think I was getting to iron melting temps.

All stood up. It started raining again just as I finished taking this shot. Prefect timing. The quality of the castings is good on the female figures, which is to be expected as I have done these ones enough. The dog was better than expected for a first go. Some work to do on it which I will show when I get it sandblasted. I was pleased to see that most of the fine vents filled so I have some nice compatible welding wire to.

dowpat's picture


Great photos and description of your process. Can’t weight to see the finished products.

Mantrid's picture

thanks pat

thanks pat

visitor's picture

Dog Sculpture Continues

Good shots or the sequence. I notice that you are spruing for direct pour verses indirect pour. Any reason you prefer direct??? We have found that in most all cases we get better fill and detail with indirect pouring (filling the piece from the bottom rather that the top) figuring that there is less interference between the out flowing air/gas and the incoming molten metal. With indirect casting (metal being directed into the bottom of the casting - so the air could be relieved without interfering with the incoming metal) the molten metal would fill the piece in an even, un inhibited "flow" and rising into the shell with far less turbulence that with direct pour systems. With in direct pouring, less air vents are needed as there is much easier relief than with direct pour. Lastly, it is much easier to get a "pinched" forced flow into the piece (if one thinks that this is important) by thinning the feeder sprue as it enters the casting area.

I know that a lot of folks like direct pour but we have pretty much gone to indirect for advantages that we found as per the above reasons.

I also see that there is a good deal of "mo fill"in many of the air vent assemblies which basically stopped when we went to indirect pour, to me meaning that we were getting molten/liquid metal into the shell in a way to be "sure" that all parts and detail were going to be cast into metal. We consistently get finger prints in the cast metal when we cast,,,,, I don't know if this is true for your setups.

All this being said, if it is working for you and you are happy with the results, don't change a thing!!!! This is just "other thoughts, information or way to get the job done.

A you have the "drying indicator" in your slurry, it looks as though you are using R&R's materials. I started with them but switched to Remet's Prime Coat for numerous reasons that I won't go into here, nothing about the respective products, more on support for small operations. I did like the wetness indicator so much (especially for hollow castings to see if the inside shell was dry) that I bought the material that is used to indicate, via color change, whether the shell is dry or not. If anyone needs some, I will sell you small amounts for very reasonable price, ans the bottle I had to buy was pretty expensive but s enough to "color" 1000's of gallons of slurry.

Are you using fused silica sand products for the flour and coating sand(s)? Any zirconia in the first coat or 2? It looks like you are using 35-50 FS for the bulk of the shell coats,,, correct? If any further discussion,thoughts, ideas, I would love to discuss such with you.

Great show of the process. Thanks for posting your process.

John Dach

Mantrid's picture

thanks for all the advice.

thanks for all the advice. Yes your correct filling from the botton I think would have been better here. I think it would have aided in pushing up the bits that were stuck in the head.

Not sure the materials are R&R's. TRhey come without manufacturers details in plain bags. I get my stuff from special plasters in birmingham. They put the dye in the binder themselves as the manufacturer no longert does so.

The product I use is molochite a calcined clay, less hazardous than silica flour. I use a -200flour for a slurry then a stucco of 50-80, twice, then two of of 30-50 and a final coat of slurry to stabalise it. However, I an constantly experimenting with this to try and improve things. I have not nbeen able to find any guides for the best approach with the particular products I use ie molochite.

johndach's picture

Dog Sculpture Continues

Oh sh*t!!!!! I wrote a rather long post and "sent" it but forgot to log in and the entire thing went into cyber space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been casting for about 20 ears ans had covered a number of items/areas as to what you do vs what I do and why. If you are ever interested in talking, my phone number is 360.681.4240 and I have unlimited calling for our base price so if you call and are charged long distance, let me know and I will call you right back. Happy to talk about most any thing dealing with casting, materials,m suppliers, equipment, trials and errors, etc.

I do indirect pouring for many reasons verses your direct pour. Happy to talk about the pros and cons of both. All sorts of ideas, processes and thoughts and more than glad to share and discuss. There a many ways to do this process, none really right or wrong,,,, just different.

John Dach
web site: and
360.681.4240 happy to call you back in in US or Canada as we have free long distance.

Mantrid's picture

After initial sandblasting I

After initial sandblasting I had to do more work than expected. Some bits of shell musthave broken off and settled in the head and ears. Despite the head being down they didnt float up and were trapped. The result was relatively large pits in the ears, top of head and one of the eyes. These are the worst places to try and repair. I had to weld bronze into the areas and resculpt

The light patches on the head are the repairs. Basically the top of the head, bottom eye and the top half of both ears had to be sculpted with a dremel from lumps of bronze welded into these regions.

This shows the bottom of the water splash and the two rods I cast in place. I threaded only one as two to secure such a small piece would have been overkill. The other I cut down and it goes partially into the stone and acts to stop any roatation.

This shows the dog on the stone base which I have roughly cut and drilled ready. The other light patches on the dog are where the pins secured the core in place. I had to use large sprues left over to fill the holes (used the small wire I made to do the back) hence the large welds.

Other side. The bronze is dark at this stage due to the heat from the welding.

Detail of the green slate with drilled holes. The slate doesnt look much at the moment but polished up to a nice grey/green colour.

Detail of the hole on the reverse side of the slate, countersunk to take the nut.

Mantrid's picture

Almost finished this

Almost finished this one.
Sandblasted with glass beads gives a clean surface for patination.

Patina applied. This is just experimental Ive been applying it and blasting it off over the last couple of days. Please feel free to critique it or offer suggestions as its still experimental.

This one was taken with the flash off and shows how the green of the water splash looks in a different light. Im pleased with the colour but not happy with the water as whole.The wax for it is cast separately so I can still play around with it but not sure what to do. I may reduce it significantly as someone I showed it to thought it was a bush.

Daedalus's picture

Fixing the water

The one thing that jumps out at me about the water is that it is monochromatic(blasting will do that) and could stand to be broken up some.
Perhaps just adding a few highlights by polishing some high spots would help break it up.
Think of the direction of the light source and just hit the high spots to replicate light coming off those points.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice there is.

Mantrid's picture

I have completed my dog

I have completed my dog sculpture and have done a little animation of it

I cant seem to put a link to it direct, but if you cut and paste the following address into a browser it should work.

Base = polished green slate. I will rethink the water for the next one. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.