I just shouldn’t make plans …

So, of course, no sooner do I announce that I’ll be back in the workshop on August 1st, when my surgeon calls me and tells me my surgery date has been set for July 30th. Cool.

I’m not ill or injured; this is just one of those lifelong problems we’re trying to fix with my renal system. We almost got it all right the last time except one little bit that didn’t heal properly. Hopefully, this is the last time I’ll have to take a leave from work for medical issues. Fingers crossed.

I’ll need about a week to recover before I can probably go back to work assuming there’s no infections and everything goes nicely. It would be just SO nice if things would go according to my plans once in awhile! Well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Wish me luck.

COVID Update

Yes, I’m still around. Yes, I still do art. The Work-From-Home recommendation from the Finnish government is currently scheduled to end August 1st. Provided that Coronavirus cases here continue to decline, I will be able to get back to my workshop then.

I promised you that I would always be completely honest with you. That means that some posts are less cheery than others.

I haven’t been posting because … well, frankly there’s been nothing to post. I’ve been working on restoring and modifying an old, broken doll castle and that’s about it. All I have done on that so far is just sanding it in preparation for priming and applying a base coat to the parts. It’s really hard to try and make that look exciting.

When can you place an order for seraph blades again? I’ve taken note of the people who expressed interest in ordering one. I suspect there might be something wrong with my current mould as I’ve been getting a lot of bubbles and delamination in my casts. If there is indeed a problem, I will have to make a new mould. That might take a couple of weeks.

The short answer is: I’m not sure. I’ll have to let you know.

My company has been hit hard by this crisis. As most of you know already, I am a sole-proprietorship. That means I work by myself. A one-person team. While there has been financial relief offered to entrepreneurs, I did not qualify for it. I spent much of last year doing research and development and therefore didn’t make enough money to be “worth” a bailout.

I am disappointed. I was supposed to break even this year. However, I continue to pay rent on my workshop while being unable to work there and because half of the year is already gone, that is no longer a possibility short of some kind of miracle.

What lies ahead for Inkblade Studios? Well, its as good a time as any to rebuild and restructure. I’ll run you through my plans here.

Pressure Casting

Casting under pressure means few to no bubbles. Typically, pressure casting is done in a pressure pot (most often the size of a paint can) or by injection moulding. Neither of these things are suitable for large, long object like a sword. So I must create a “pressure pot” that is long enough to hold the size moulds I need.

This is tricky because if you are sloppy about your construction methods, it will explode. Since I have no interest in making pipe bombs, I will be taking my time and doing this properly. I’ll just have to beg your patience in the meantime.

Carving Blanks

I dearly miss carving swords the way I used to do. Nothing I have cast comes close to the optical clarity of the carved swords.

So, so smooth.

These are very labour intensive, though. I need blocks of acrylic resin in specific sizes and lengths. It’s much more cost-effective and time-saving to cast blanks (blocks of solid resin) myself rather than pestering local industrial plastics manufacturers with my bizarre requests. They’re used to making big thick sheets and slabs of plastic, not rods of weird widths and lengths.

With my new power carving tools and custom-sized blanks, I would be able to carve faster and have less waste material to chew through. It would become feasible to return to carving custom blades without having to sell them at a loss.

To make blanks, again, I need pressure-casting. I don’t have the funds or the space for an extrusion machine of my own. That is too far in the future to think about right now.

Small Items

I have had so many requests for witchtlights. Just so many. I’ve been working on it for ages. It is very, very difficult. My specifications are brutal and I refuse to make an inferior quality product just because it would be easier. Anybody can make a plastic rock with a light inside, but who can make one that doesn’t have a big ugly cap on one side? That’s just a rock-shaped lamp. Seriously, I could do that right now if that was all that was needed.

Thankfully, all that time spent in research and experimentation was not wasted. I have a model that I’m satisfied with producing. I just need to make the final sculpt, take a production-quality mould, and start casting them. Assuming nothing goes wrong–which now that I’ve said so it probably will–I should be making witchlights by the end of the year.

I will also be making some jewelry, amulets, trinkets and such. Smaller items that you can buy for a much more affordable price than the big swords.

That’s about it for now. I have more plans for the future but the others are too far off to discuss right now. Thanks for your patience. I’m doing the best I can with the circumstances and that pretty much means starting over.