Friday, October 17, 2008

Failures and Successes

Well, yesterday I learned that I can't always do things perfectly the first time I try them. I know, I should know by now, but still, I tend to think everything I do should work the first time, just because I'm me. Fr. POS assures me that's too much to ask.

Specifically, I tried to make a Pentagonal Figure of Solomon. I carved a beautiful one out of beeswax, no easy task I assure you. I measured the angles of the star, had each at a nearly-perfect 72 degrees, had all the names in and the symbols, and the Tetragrammaton... It was nice, it was really really nice.

I poured plaster over it to make a mold for the silver. That sort of worked, well enough, but there were some bubbles because I poured it too thick too fast, and just did it ... wrong. But when the plaster had dried, I put it in the oven for a couple of hours upside down over a pie pan to catch the wax, which melted out. The mold was close enough to let me get a decent seal and then have a little clean up to do with the dremel tool.

I melted the silver, and poured it into the mold. I don't have a smelter, so I used a MAP gas torch to melt it. It wasn't a good, even melt, and I ended up oxidizing a lot of the silver (it turns to powder). Then when I tried to pour it into the mold, it solidified on the way, so I got lumps of silver drops in the mold. It sucked royally.The places where the silver actually landed on the mold didn't even get a decent impression of the symbols. It really sucked.

Lessons learned: I need more heat, a crucible, and a centrifuge. I need to do the stupid lost-wax thing the right way. And I need to not think I can do everything perfect the first time.

Today, things went much better. I made a talisman for Haniel out of copper. In the hour of Venus, on the Day of Venus, I cut a copper tube, opened it up, and hit it with the MAP torch until it had begun to melt. I like to melt it a bit so that it's actually solidifying in the appropriate planetary hour, and freezing the "energies" of the moment into the metals.

I put a patina on it using the MAP torch and a quenching process, and then sanded the back of it using a dremel tool flap-sander bit. that was so it would rest on the electrodes of my Conjure Box and make a solid circuit.

I engraved it with the Venus seal from the Magical Calendar (I figure Haniel and Anael are different spellings from different sources, but the same general spirit). I also wrote "his" name in Celestial Script on the seal. I conjured him using the Box and had a good experience. I'll post about that next.