A water cast (yuwake) ingot.

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Comment by Tyler Miller on March 11, 2014 at 11:30am

That would be a beautiful bracelet, I'd imagine. The guard is mostly decorative, it only has to be strong enough to keep your hands from sliding up onto the blade.  I agree that wax casting would be much easier, but the tedious method of water casting is the only way to do it for the proper visual effect and historical accuracy.  Water casting imparts a unique crystalline structure to the metal, and adding a little silver at the last minute to the melt means the silver doesn't quite diffuse completely.  When a patina is applied, it makes for a striking effect that is impossible to reproduce any other way.  Labour of love.  Too bad I'm like 200 hours away from being anywhere near finished, haha.

Comment by Denice E. Demuth on March 11, 2014 at 11:07am

I've done some tedious projects in my like but that one takes the cake.  When I was a dental lab tech, I made 12 double bamboo settings out of silver for some irregular tiny marble portraits for a bracelet.  I made a mold for the bamboo outer frame and the flowed wax around the irregular shape of each portrait and then cast.  Does this shield have to be strong or is it decorative?  It would be much easier to do wax relief cast and add extra detail with carving tools.

Comment by Tyler Miller on March 11, 2014 at 9:32am

It's copper.  I thought I'd share since I make the crucibles out of PSH Sheba Raku clay and use my raku kiln to do do the casting.  It will be a sword guard (tsuba) when I'm done.  The process is outlined in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGMj7o6AwnM), but my tsuba will only be a plain, hammer textured piece with a raised rim--I have nowhere near the talent Ford Hallam does.

Comment by Denice E. Demuth on March 11, 2014 at 6:17am

That's pretty cool looking now tell me what it is?  Denice

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