I put together Eulalia’s laurelling tokens this past month with a lot of help from Dafne.
I was aiming at a pie, viewed from the top down, with a laurel wreath on it. Construction was … typical. But there was some learning that happened when I took it over to Dafne’s for cleanup, finishing, and casting.
These tokens are about 30 per pound of pewter, a little too large. One of the learning things though is that they’re also a little too thin, in particular along one side. They should be a little deeper because the pewter does not want to flow into one part of the pie.
Dafne encouraged me to leave little dents in the top of the pies like one sees when one makes pies. Where the gunk in the pie oozes out, ya know? I didn’t trust myself to get the laurel wreath right, so I asked Dafne to carve it. She offered to sketch it out and had me carve it. We also had to deepen the mold a little. She showed me that she uses a slice of an emery board for her sanding, not a sheet of sand paper (also she had a finer grit. She’s a much finer worker than I am. I just hack it off).
After the laurel wreath was put in, we knew where to put in the bail. Note how in the stone, the wreath is not perfectly centered. Center the bail on the wreath, not the stone. We used a little teeny circle for the inner part, and then a bigger circle for the outer part (rather than me, carving the middle line wider and wider).
We got it to pour a few times, and then Dafne put in registration pins. She’s obviously done this a few more times than me. She drilled through the top piece (not on the bottom piece), and then sort of sideways a little so the pin won’t spin in the hole. Then she put it on the bottom piece and drilled a little bit to mark. Then she drilled into the bottom piece, not very far. Then she used her tools and widened the holes a little. She worked hard to make the pewter flat on the top of the stone. (so she can stack the molds).
We wound up trying a new channel for the sprue. It helped some. And more air vents. And Dafne worked a lot trying to get some space between the two rocks- made a new registration pin, put talc in the old pin-holes. It was very obstinate. What would help would be some more sanding- not a lot, but some.
I didn’t consider Eulalia’s extra-sensitivity to giving offense. Someone approached her, pointing out that she was giving out medallions with their (the Laurels) symbol on it, and “some” might take this badly. Another person mentioned this during the creation, but I discounted it then- mostly out of the belief that wearing it as a souvenir is completely different from wearing it as regalia. I’ve offered to sand down the mold and get rid of the wreath, which will also deepen the mold and make them cast better. She likes that idea and we’ll be working forward on that.
This is an interesting lesson in client relations. Whatever arguments I might have for keeping the wreath on the token, if Eulalia wouldn’t use them, then they would be pointless.