|My glass cabs glued onto the little pocket watches|
Well, whilst conducting my usual late night "surf the large chinese supplier website because I can't sleep yet" internet use, I came across some really cute little pocket watches with rather cheesy porcelain cabochons installed on the front. I thought to myself that these would look so much better with a nice glass cab on there and decided to dip my toes into negotiating with the chinese supplier to get something custom made..... little did I know that about 1 million (prob only really 50, just felt like more) emails later, it looked like they have made up exactly what I wanted.
So I paid, stalked the postage tracker until they arrived into my hot little hand......... Cute, great.... but not exactly what I wanted. The big issue I had was that the surface of the watch where the cab gets glued is not exactly flat.... not even a little bit flat... bugger!
|The domed surface for the cab to go onto|
|Watch I "killed" to give me the cab mold|
So, even though i was still feeling a little bit under the weather, I fired up the kiln yesterday and tried out the idea using both borosilicate glass and then some soft glass. I used the boro first (because the kiln was ramped up hotter to start with this, then I ramp it down later to the soft glass annealing temp). I made up the cab using a slice of my recent boro butterfly cane in a large diameter... the cab was looking nice, so I heated the backside up nice and hot and plunged it onto the "mold". First off there was some really nasty smells.... then a spitting sound and then when I lifted the cab up, this is what I found!
|melted mold after first use|
After this cab, I ramped down the kiln and resorted to plan B..... shaping the back of the cab by hand and just using this mold as a guage for diameter. I tried using the stumpshaper (the curved bit) to make a concave back..... nope, not neat enough. Then I tried using the back of a teaspoon and .....yahooo, it worked. This option works, but is not completely ideal I do admit. I am thinking of getting myself some graphite and sanding it into the shape I want and using that as a mold which would be MUCH better I reckon.
Some of the tips I got from this first batch other than shaping the back for gluing.... keep it slightly smaller than you think.... heat the back of the cab quite hard and then press down to give slimmer sides which sit nicely on the watch front. I am thinking there are a complete raft of interesting things that can be done with these watches.... it has been a difficult track to run, but worth it in the end!
|Butterfly cab glued onto pocket watch front.... this one was a little bit thick around the edges as my first one|