I’m almost finished crafting the third Clariel I made with my first mould. I’m very pleased with how this beauty came together. Gave me no trouble at all. My crafting technique is getting smoother and faster. Yay for practise!
What’s next from the Inkblade Studios? Well, I continue to work on my crazy bucket experiment. Once I’ve confirmed whether or not it works, I can move on to creating a brand new model of sword! Or … will it be a witchlight? Or maybe a stele?! Ahhh help me decide!
Hey guys! I’ve got a lot of new stuff coming up that I’m really excited to share! First, I’m pleased to announce that the third resin-cast Clariel has been purchased by a lucky Shadowhunter in Germany. I’ve already got the flap moulded, underside painted a nice reflective white, and adhered to the hilt. If all goes well, I’ll have it finished and on its way by the end of the week. Yay!
Secondly, I’ve been doing some weird silicone experiments in an effort to make my moulds with less silicone. That would cut down on my expenses and allow me make things for everybody at a lower cost. Yay! I really am trying, guys. I know cost is a factor for most of us.
If I had a big ol’ factory with assembly lines and million dollar injection moulding systems, I could be making stuff in bulk and charging less but … nope. It’s just me. Me and my own two hands doing the best I can.
Clearly, more experimentation is needed. The mould ends up quite a bit thinner and it might be more flexible than I want it to be, but that’s okay! I remain stubborn and I will find a way to do this just the way I want it. 🙂
Lastly, I have a strange experiment in the works. I want to try a new way of creating a support structure for silicone moulds. Usually, moulds are clamped between two boards or a ‘jacket’ is created around it with either fibre-reinforced plaster (like a cast on a broken leg), or fibreglass.
I’ve experienced some problems casting smaller objects in resin when the mould jacket is made of plaster. Since plaster is made of gypsum, and gypsum has a verrrrry low thermal conductivity it takes a really long time to heat up or cool down and usually feels cold to the touch. My resin needs a certain amount of warmth to set properly, otherwise I get uneven curing.
I would happily make my mould jackets out of fibreglass, but I don’t want to work with glass fibres. They’re nasty things. Irritate the lungs, irritate your skin, and just generally get everywhere and make a nuisance of themselves.
I could use burlap or similar cloth instead of glass fibre and I actually tried to do that last week. However, the epoxy or resin you typically use for this kind of thing is the most foul-smelling chemical I have ever worked with. Most of them require you to work outside with a respirator on. It’s that bad. So, I would either need to use a resin that is less stinky (and way more expensive!) or …
Yes, that’s a couple of enormous trash cans with bags of fine sand inside. Sand? Trash cans? What kind of crazy plan is this?!
You’ll have to find out later. I’m off to the workshop to finish a sword! Wheeeee!
Woohoo! This has been a crazy exciting week. I stubbornly went back for another try at the mother mould for Clariel. I was terrified that I’d fail once again and have wasted over 100 euros on silicone.
I was especially nervous because one spot was a bit of a different colour and firmness than the rest.
But it wasn’t sticky and my finger didn’t sink into it soooo, let’s get it out of the moulding box.
Well it looked like it was all okay. But I would only be able to know for sure by separating the two halves. This was the moment of greatest tension. The moment of truth! Would it be sticky inside? Would it have somehow cured to the other half, trapping the model sword inside?! I didn’t know. I’d have to open it and find out.
It cured! It cured all the way through and didn’t do anything crazy! I can’t tell you the relief I felt. That was so much work to get it right and my mistakes were not cheap but it all paid off.
Ahh, there it is. That’s exactly what I wanted. I really needed that win. it fits together just perfectly. No weird gaps. No bubbles. No cracks. Hurrah!
Now on to the mould jacket! This mould is too wobbly to support itself indepedently so it needs a “cast” around it to keep it from popping open or deforming when I pour the resin in. Imagine it like a body; right now, it needs bones so it can stand up. 🙂
I tried some really gross-smelling plastic stuff.
And it hardened before I was done working with it! well that’s useless.
So I gave my dear mould a nice, relaxing mud-mask.
Really, though, that’s hobby concrete smooshed into layers of burlap cloth. I’m hoping it will be strong enough when dry to not crack or crumble. We’ll have to see! This is how I left it last Friday night so this morning I will check on it and see how my experiment went. Don’t worry! I’m not out of ideas yet!
I have determination! I have sisu! And if that doesn’t work, I have coffee.
Otherwise known as the two-part mould. It’s half finished guys! Actually, it might be all finished right now; I have to go to the workshop to check. But I wanted to share with you the progress shots from last week because playing with goo is exciting!
And it was all ready to go back in the box for the second half! Then I hit a few snags. First, since it’s the other side, the bendy part around the blade had to be put on the other way and when I did that, it somehow ended up about one centimetre shorter. I have no idea how this happened. Oh well! I just added some more corrugated plastic on the end.
Then, I noticed that the straight pieces of foam board I had used for the upper parts of the sword had become badly warped overnight! I tried to patch the gaps with extra hot glue but it just wasn’t working. I had to cut some MDA board instead and use that. That sucked up some extra time.
Then, as I was degassing the silicone for the second pouring, I realised something: it was really hot in my workshop. I thought it couldn’t be more than 24C or so in there and I was really focused on my work, not my comfort. BUT, with this silicone you can accelerate the curing time by increasing the temperature. Handy right? Except when all the bubbles aren’t out of it yet and it’s starting to set! AHHHHH! By the time I noticed what was wrong it was already as thick as cookie dough. I had to stick my gloved hand INTO the bucket of silicone and pull it out glob by glob. It even started curing to my glove and I had a big hand-sized blob of blue slime dangling off my fingers as I desperately waggled it, trying to get it off. It eventually plopped into the mould box with the rest.
So … will it be okay? I don’t know! The top of it won’t be as smooth and glossy as the top of the “Ikea cake” picture there. I’m afraid the silicone had already thickened so much that the last blobs that fell in will probably stay as they are and make the surface bumpy and weird. What does that mean for me? Well, it just means that I’ll have to do a fibreglass jacket around the mould instead of a wooden clamping box. Oh well! I have the stuff to do either one and I was on the fence about which way I wanted to do it anyway.
The real question is: did it cure nicely against the SWORD? Because if there’s bubbles or spaces against the sword, I have to do this part of the mould again. I’m making a pretty new mother mould for every Clariel model sword that will come from my shop. If there’s a mistake in that mould, there will be a mistake in every sword it produces! And I’ll have to take time to fix each and every one. That would ruin the point of making a better mould in the first place! It’s gotta be just as perfect as I can possibly make it.
Wish me luck! I have a feeling I’m gonna need it today.
Hi everybody! Quick update to let you know what I’m up to. I’m setting up the moulding box to pour the first half of the new Clariel mould. Yay! It doesn’t look too jazzy right now but cool stuff is coming.
Why the new mould? Well, after casting 4 swords from the first mould I made, I realised that each of them had a slight bend toward the right near the tip. This was easy enough to correct with a trip to Chewy (my belt sander), but I didn’t want to have to do that for every single sword. That makes a lot more work for me and takes too much time to produce each sword. I’m working on getting high quality swords made for you faster so that more people can have access to the pretty stuff. Anything that stands in the way of that goal is simply no good!
So I went back to the plaster model sword and shaped and measured it with more accurate tools. Then I carved a light slot into it so I don’t have to do that freehand with each sword I make. (That saves about an hour per sword.) Then I re-finished the whole thing with several layers of sealant and gloss and buffed it all up to 2000 grit. My aim? To get it as smooth as possible so I have the bare minimum of sanding and polishing to do to each sword that comes out of the mould.
Hi everyone! I’m in a bit of a rush today. Lots of running around picking up materials, doing research for tools I’ll be needing in the near future, and trying to get the last bit of work done on the Clariel model sword to create the final perfected mould. Gah! It’s crazy!
And 25 degrees is WAY too freaking hot for me! I’m melting. Seriously, I moved within sneezing distance of the Arctic Circle to get away from being toasted by the evil fireball in the sky …
Stop talking about the weather and give us pictures already Ethan! Okay okay. Yesssss I finished the 2nd cast resin Clariel last week and she is awaiting word from her Australian Shadowhunter to ship out. Here’s the pics I promised.
Shiny in the suuuuun! 😀
Ahh you runed it! Haaaah terrible pun … *ducks head in shame*
I’ve been working on getting my rare-earth magnet closures smaller and tidier for a nice sleek look. How did I do guys? 🙂
Oooooh shiny! Yes it’s in my sauna. LOL I currently have nowhere else that is dark enough to show you the full glory of the sword lit up. But you know what? I’m rather proud to be living and working in Finland so I think it’s kind of fitting that the quintessential Finnish element of the sauna plays a role in my work even if it’s a small one. 🙂
That’s it for me for the day everybody. I’ve got to get going. There is SO much sanding and polishing to do and OMG I almost forgot!
This one. This one is not yet claimed! If you want this Clariel for your very own, I have an Etsy listing for you to pounce on right HERE. And since it’s not yet finished, YOU get to choose what kind of finish you want to have on it. Lit? Unlit? Runes? No runes? Some runes? Different runes?! It’s up to you. Your wish is my command! 😉
Have a great day everybody! I’m off to … everywhere, probably all at once. LOL
I’m so excited guys! I’m almost finished the second cast resin Clariel sword and it is gorgeous.
The handle is all painted to simulate the look of weathered steel and the whole thing has been given three layers of high-gloss sealer. This sealer protects the sword from scratches and the yellowing effect that UV rays can have on resin over time.
I’m committed to making items that stand the test of time so it’s very important to me that each sword has adequate protection against wear.
All that’s left to put on this sword is the handle strap and it will be ready to go to its new home! This Clariel is promised to a lucky Shadowhunter already but the 3rd resin cast Clariel is still unclaimed! Will it be yours?
Hi guys! I’ve been hammering away at this Clariel here. Using some new techniques and some old ones too.
I’ve also been doing some more research on the Shadowhunter runes in order to discover which ones, exactly, appear on the hilts of the blades in the TV show.
Which rune is that on the pommel? I’ve done quite a bit of hunting and I have not found that precise one in the Codex or anywhere else for that matter. Is it meant to be a rune known only to the Iron Sisters? Something involved in the creation process of the Seraph Blades? Or did the props team simply screw up?
After painstakingly comparing the design on the prop to the runes we know of, I settled on this rune as the one they most probably intended:
Things can get hairy when working with clay and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a Heightened Speed rune got a little smooshed during the crafting process and then accidentally reproduced that way without the mistake being caught.
What about the rune in the middle of the hilt though? It’s almost totally obscured by the wrappings.
All I have to go on is that little Y-shaped stick at the top. That’s not much of a hint. I had about four guesses, and settled on one that would make the most sense for a seraph blade.
Accuracy. Flexibility might have also worked but it’s C-shaped and would probably be showing the other end of the C above the wrappings and would have to be turned on its side to look like that. Power could have been a possibility but, again, the other end of the Z-shape would probably be showing as well? Stamina was another possibility but it would have had to be tilted diagonally to avoid showing the other part of the “t” above the wrappings. Accuracy seemed like our most likely candidate.
Hang on, but isn’t Accuracy already on the sword at the bottom? Well … as you’ve probably already discovered while studying the runes for yourself, some of them have been re-labeled between adaptations from book to movie, and movie/book to TV show. The rune at the bottom there appears as “Calm Anger” on the Shadowhunter wiki.
What’s an Iron Brother to do? Well, keep doing my research and maintain my commitment to bringing you the very best art I can! I started making Seraph Blades for the sheer love of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series and that affection has not faded with time. It can be a bit of a struggle to make a judgement call on whether to follow the books or the TV show when a discrepancy arises. I tend to side with the books, personally, because there’s more info available and because it’s closer to Clare’s original concept of the Shadowhunters world.
Do feel free to respond to any of my posts either here or on my Facebook page. It’s just not as fun if it’s only me here talking. LOL! Let me know what you want to see me make! Ask questions! It’s all good. I answer whenever I can on weekdays. 🙂
All right! I’ve got a very busy week ahead of me guys! I’ll be finishing these two beauties; the first of my resin cast Clariel model swords. And I have a new shipment of moulding silicone coming in from Materialshop.fi . I’m going to be re-moulding my Clariel model sword with a higher quality silicone so I can have a more perfect mould that will last me much longer than the previous one.
Have no fear, though. The swords I’ve made from the first mould are just as high quality as you expect them to be. Errors in the mould simply means I have to spend more time and effort in the finishing stages, sanding and buffing by hand. I want each sword to come out of the mould as perfect as possible so we can have a nice, consistent result every time and minimise the amount of time it takes for me to finish your sword. My goal right now is to take your order and have it finished for you in a week. A better mould will get me closer to that goal.
I still have a long way to go to get my crafting process where I want it to be, but I’m determined to get there! Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement!
So I played with my new silicone mould last week as I continue my witchlight experimentation. I thought you might like to see the results. I was delayed a little bit at first since the plaster mould jacket I made broke.
So I had to make a new one out of wood. That whole incident took a couple days more than I was expecting but I bounced back fairly quickly. And of course, I learned things! Time spent learning is never wasted. 🙂 (and my clamps may have learned a few new curse words …)
Aaaaanyway. Look! A shiny rock!
It’s flat on the bottom so I can more easily work on the whole internal electronics stuff. The resin is so clear, it looks like it’s hollow, but it’s actually solid!
So next for this little treasure? I’ll be messing about with tiny electronics and figuring out how I’m going to hide a light inside a clear object. I’m thinking it will probably be similar to the witchlight you saw in The Mortal Instruments film that was kind of cloudy inside with some imperfections like a natural stone would have. Kind of like quartz?
It’s fairly safe to say that adamas would look something like this before it’s refined and worked by the Iron Sisters. At least as far as we can estimate by looking at how mundane metals and crystals behave. I’ll be playing with pigments, dyes, and different kinds of inserts to see what yields the best and most natural looking crystal, while still being able to light up. Y’know just … the usual high wizardry.
I’m sure I’ll figure it out. My superpower is stubbornness.
But! I didn’t spend my entire week on a rock. Nope! I was levelling up my crafting skill finishing off the first ever cast resin Clariel sword!
I’m working on making the seams smoother so it’s more difficult to see where the handle opens up. This sword, like the ones before it, has an invisible light switch. Wait, it lights up?
So does this mean I’m taking orders now? Kinda? I have a mould but I want to make a better quality one since this one has some imperfections in it that I have to spend extra time buffing out when I finish each sword. Rawr! Since silicone is quite expensive, I’ll be selling the three Clariel blades I currently have so I can actually afford to do that.
Of course, those who have been waiting patiently on the contact list get first dibs on the blades up for sale cause that’s only fair. BUT! I can add your order to the list and let you know when one becomes available. I can’t give actual dates quite yet as to when I can complete those orders but I am definitely working on that. And no, you don’t have to put down any kind of payment on the order before I have a completion date for you. I’ve done that before and it’s really stressful on both me and the nice Shadowhunter waiting for their sword!
This whole ordering process thing WILL get easier in the future. Once I’ve got things the way I need them to be (ie: a quality mould I’m happy with and reliable crafting times from start to finish) I will be opening an official web shop for you to find my stuff and buy what you want. I’ll still be taking custom orders, of course. I just need to streamline the crafting process so I actually have time to make custom pieces again.
Enough blathering from me! I must go to the workshop and get busy finishing those other two blades. See you later!