Monday, August 18, 2008

Belial's Gold Leaf Seal

I'm working on a new method for making the golden seals for the Kings of the Goetia. New for me, anyway. I don't know, maybe other magicians have been doing this for years. As far as I know, it's all my creation though, so I'm taking credit for it.

I carved Belial's seal into an ordinary two-inch wooden disk, the kind you get from a craft store. I used the smallest little round carving ball dremel attachment I could find in my box. It may even have been intended for this.

Oh, diamond grinding bits are great for quartz, not wood.

So after carving the seal, I mushed it into Sculpey, some plasticene clay you can buy. You bake it at 275 (F) for fifteen minutes, and it turns to this weird harder-plastic that doesn't bend or mush anymore. I pulled the wooden disk out, and had a nice little mold.

I baked the mold for about an hour. I should have put it on a baking pan, but being the lazy magi that I am, I threw it on a piece of parchment paper (the baking kind) laying on the oven rack. Then I took it out and let it cool. Then I mixed up some plaster, and poured it in the mold, and let it set for a while.

Sculpey has to be sealed with something water proof to make it water proof. Like paint or something. I didn't do this, so all the water in the plaster just seeped out through the bottom of the Sculpey mold. I think it helped. I was able to pop out the plaster seal in an hour or so. One thing I noticed was that while baking, the Sculpey was still slightly malleable. Because this is the largest piece of Sculpey I've ever baked, it sort of drooped while it was baking, slightly misshaping the mold. So there's a slight warp to the seal.

I let it sit over night, and then I cleaned it up with a sanding bit for the dremel, drilled a hole in the top, and proceeded to attempt to leaf the damn thing in gold.

With varying degrees of success. I bought this foil leafing kit that has a bottle of glue (they call it "size" but I swear it's glue), a roll of foil, and some other stuff that doesn't come into play right now. You put down the glue, wait for it to dry "clear" and then put the foil over it. You peel back the foil, and this plastic tape stuff comes away, and the foil is supposed to stick to the glue. Plaster, as you may know is white. It's not easy to tell when a white glue has dried "clear" on white plaster. As you can see, it sort of almost worked.

Also, the gold leaf is supposed to get into all the carved out cracks, right? But the foil stuck to the flat bits. So I used the handy 18 kt gold leafing pen. It turned out alright. Not great, but alright. I like the shininess of the leaf foil over the paint pen, but the paint pen has some real gold in it, while the leaf foil doesn't.

I really need to get a doggone working digital camera. I've been using my cell phone camera for this stuff, and it just doesn't provide the clarity I want. It's on my list of things to buy, as soon as the kids have all their back to school stuff, and things have quieted down on the home front.

So, I will be trying again. There are some inherent caveats in this. It's not all gold, for one thing, and that makes me less than happy. It's plaster. It weighs hardly anything, and I'm afraid it's going to break if I drop it, or chip, or something. It's convenient for a one or two-time use, I suspect, but for a long-term relationship with this spirit, I'd probably suggest something a little more durable. Even gold-leafing the wooden disk would probably make for a sturdier talisman...

Duh! I should have done that instead. Huh.

Oh well. If I wanted to mass produce these things, I have the means, at least. Anyone want to buy some gold-painted plaster seals for the Kings of the Goetia?