In The Workshop: Cuttlefish Casting

Cuttlefish Casting

Stephen Perry, our Managing Director has been very busy in the workshop! Using cuttlefish casting, he made himself a wedding band using his late father’s gold bracelet.

Also commonly referred to as “cuttlebone casting,” this is considered a simple, traditional metal casting technique. It takes advantage of the splendid properties of a finely porous bone-like internal organ which is shared by all members of the cuttlefish family. The animal uses it for buoyancy control, however, jewellers over the years have used it as a way to create an array of moulds. The interior surface of the bone is composed of porous aragonite, a crystal form of calcium carbonate, that, in cuttlebone, is soft enough to take permanent impressions with moderate pressure. This is great for forming/carving shapes into the bone. It is also naturally resistant to the heat of molten jewellery metals like silver and gold, though the mould is destroyed by the process of casting.

Interested in seeing it in action? Read on to see the process!

Starting of with the gold bracelet, the gold is then melted and poured into the tightly bound cuttlefish cast (pictured below). Once the metal has cooled, the bonds are removed and the cast is pulled apart. This reveals the newly moulded ring, however there is a lot of cleaning up to do before it becomes wearable!

Once the ring has been cleared up from any excess and smoothed out (pictured above), the ring then becomes more finalised in its design, with further rounding and polishing. The ring is nearly complete!

Whilst the design could be left plain and as is, this particular ring had additional diamonds imbedded into it. This flush setting, also sometimes known as gypsy setting is popular amongst men’s rings. It is one of the most secure way to hold in diamonds, especially those who often work with their hands. Take a look at the video below to see the finish piece! If you would like to see more behind the scenes, take a look at our other bespoke ring posts here or our other workshop related posts here.