Mould Making

Yesterday we saw the birth of a couple of little Mermaids, today it’s two steps back in the process: mould making.

I have long wanted some more natural looking moulds and with the mermaid moulds being so frustrating I finally decided to use the materials Marcus sent me last year.

I’ll only show the process for the pebbles, but describe the squares as well.

While you can embed almost everything into silicone, if you want a mould that creates shiny resin pieces, your positive has to be smooth as a baby’s butt, so my first step was to cover some pebbles and pieces of wood in resin.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The problem with the wood was that the cut sides soaked up the resin, staying rough, so I decided to cover the whole thing again the next day. This times the sides became smooth, but the resin decided not to stick to itself on the top…

After I covered my pieces in resin I created the “mould box”. Marcus made those four pieces you can clamp to each other, allowing for variable sizes. You just need to put some putty into the cracks to seal it, something that worked well here, but not that well with the wood pieces, so I drowned my kitchen table in silicone and then had to somehow scoop it up again because I didn’t have enough to replace it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The resin had created a flat foot on the pebbles that I worked a little with sanding paper, so i could put the flat on the surface and pour the silicone on top with little worries that they’d rise to the top…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

All poured, now wait…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

This is the mould with the pebbles still inside. They came out nice and clean and I

really like that mould. Now for trying it out…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The green one on the right was a different mould, one where I tried to make all round pieces. Those still need some working on.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can see that they’re really glossy while also really pebble-irregular.

The square ones are fine for making pieces that you sand down, but due to the issues with the resin not that nice and clean. Afterwards I remembered that Marcus had once sent me a “book club” block that would have made a nice clean mould…

I also tried some small globe shaped moulds, which still need some tinkering, so the next time I need to order resin I’ll also order some more silicon.

The Plural of Mermaid is Moremaids

After the little mermaid in the last craft post, I decided to use that idea some more and insert them into landscapes.

To do that you need some larger moulds and tools to shape the result afterwards. I built my single use moulds with thin wood and popsickle sticks, lining them with tape. This worked half- well.

One came out quite nice and shiny, which was lucky, but the other one not so much, which meant sanding. To give you an idea what that means here’s a series of pics demonstarting the process:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

This is after sanding with a 120 grid to make the surface even.

[Read more…]

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 17

It’s time to bid farewell to the island of Harakka and I’d like to thank Ice Swimmer for sharing this special place with all of us. It’s been a wonderful adventure and I’m going to miss these quiet walks filled with colour and beauty.

Chapter 17 – Sea, Sky and Farewell

This is the final part of the story of my autumnal visits to Harakka. We start with an interlude with the theme Sea and Sky.

Two Masts ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

This picture is from the western rocks.

Essential for Life©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Water is life and so are the sun and the air.

Into the Fog ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The ship to Stockholm is going into the fog.

Autumnal ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Saturday was a more autumnal day than Sunday.

After the interlude it is time to say goodbye to Harakka.

Strait ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

A view south to the strait between Särkkä and Harakka.

Call ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The semaphore is up, calling the boat to mainland. Goodbye, Harakka.

This was the story of the island Harakka in October 2018.

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 16

Thanks again Ice Swimmer for all the time and work you put into this series. 

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 16

It’s time to put away your worries for a while and take a walk with Ice Swimmer. Today we’re going up.

Chapter 16 – Top and Around

Odd Spruce Revisited ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The spruce is odd because it has an even number of crowns. The deciduous trees behind the spruce are hiding the wetland.

[Read more…]

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 15

It’s time to join Ice Swimmer on his walk around Harakka.

Chapter 15 – East

Emerging from the Wetland ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The bird watching shelter we visited earlier is on the right. Sunday was definitely brighter than Saturday. Across the water are the island Särkkä and Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.

[Read more…]

New Books to Read Arrived

The situation at my work slowly deteriorates further*, nobody is sure whether they will have work tomorrow or not, management assurances to the contrary notwithstanding (we have been lied to before). I have already decided that should I get the sack, I will not be looking for a new job forthwith but I will dedicate a year to learning and perfecting my crafts – knife-making and wood-carving.

I already have decent knowledge of metallurgy, some rudimentary knowledge of history and even some skill, but there is a lot of potential for improvement on both the practical and theoretical side. And to expand my knowledge of theory, I have just invested non-trivial money into these beautiful books.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

They arrived today and I am eager to dive into them. I expect to already know some of it, but by far not all, or even most, so I hope to get a real knowledge boost. Which will be of course mostly forgotten afterwards, but that is the way of the world. I still should get out of it ahead knowledge-wise. I glanced through each, some are more pictures than text, some the opposite, but they all seem to be cramped with information on each site and right now I have no regrets of buying any of them.

If anything I still think they are not enough, I wanted to buy much more, but many books that I have got my eyes on were not available. Well, after I am done with these, I will look again. These should occupy me for a few weeks, or even months.

If you have some recommendations on the theme of blade making and blade history, feel free to post them in comments.


  • Honestly, in the pursuit of their greed, american corporate managers are capable of dying of thirst by refusing to drink when given a bottle of water instead of the lake they demanded.

A little project on the side

We haven’t had a craft post in a while, and I know some of you are still waiting for your horses (they’ll come). I do have a larger work in progress that I can hopefully show you soon, but for most of this year I hit a creative dry spell with just being too exhausted after work.

Well, I got holidays and I used them for a little fun project. I wanted to do something with wood again and if you hit youtube, you’ll find dozens of “secret wood” tutorials (though why they’re called “secret wood” is a mystery to me, it’s quite obvious, isn’t it?), but I wanted to do something a little different:

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

For these I used an old stick that was lying around and cut off some pieces. The bark had already withered away so I only cleaned them up lightly, leaving all the natural signs of withering in place. I then drilled a hole down the middle, starting with a size 5 drill and then going up to 10 over 8. After that I started to make the cuts with my little Dremel tool. In the green one I first tried to make two parallel cuts and then take out the wood in between, but that didn’t work that well, so I just make the cuts as wide as possible and then used other tools to define them. I think it will take a few more goes before I really get the hang of this.

Though this project showed again that my BFF J and I are actually one person leading two lives. I showed here these and said “I’ll need to ask your husband a favour” and she replied “you want to used some thicker wood and have him drill out the middle so you can insert some lights”, which is exactly what I’m planning to do.

And here’s one more thing, a leftover mermaid:

© Giliell, all rights reserved

I still had some green and blue resin left, so I made a pretty pendant. One of the easiest things to do with resin is to print out stuff on a transparency (got to be a laser printer, though) and then insert the result into the resin. Because my resin was starting to cure I couldn’t get the bubbles out, but for once I think they’re actually adding to the whole thing.

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 14

We’re back on Harakka with Ice Swimmer, but we’re not on the top of the island as predicted in the previous post, Chapter 13 – Interlude III, Mystery Path. That chapter was mistakenly published out of order by this administrator. We’ll get to the top of the island on March 4/19 in Chapter 16 – Top and Around. My apologies to Ice Swimmer.

Chapter 14 – Wetland

Wetland ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

There is a valley near the southeastern shore. In the valley, there are wetlands.

[Read more…]

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 12

Ice Swimmer has more rocks to show us and they are full of colour and pattern. Let’s go….

Chapter 12 – Southwestern Rocks on Sunday, II

Details. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

This part of the rocks comes with stripey details.

Detailed Details. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Here is a more detailed look on the details.

Decidous and Evergreen. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Many of the broad-leaved trees were exhibiting their deciduousness while, the pines show their evergreenness all through the seasons.

Grain. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The pattern is like figured woodgrain.

The Border. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Humans are not welcome on the other side. Gulls and geese will keep watch in spring and summer. The dinosaurs were absent in October, but no human was seen trespassing.

In the next installment, we will have walked the path towards east (to the left of the last picture) and we’ll see something completely different.

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 11

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 10

Ice Swimmer’s here and today he has rocks to show us. Be still my heart…..

Chapter 10 – Southwestern Rocks on Sunday, I

Shaped by Ice Age. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved 

The rounded forms of the rocks come from the Ice Age. The bottom of the glacier was full of rocks embedded into the ice that was quite flexible under the huge pressure, grinding the rocks into rounded shapes. [Read more…]