The blueprint of... Armor

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Myana's avatar
By Myana
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The blueprint of... is an article serie where we’re taking a closer look on an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.

Today we are dissecting Armor by flintlockprivateer

Armor by flintlockprivateer Armor opened by flintlockprivateer Armor by flintlockprivateer

First off, please introduce yourself?

My name is Josh Murray I am 32 years old and live in Los Angeles California. I have been working as a freelance sculptor for about 13 years and making jewelry for 6 years. I spend roughly 3/4 of the year working on props for movies and theme parks and what not, in my down time I make and sell jewelry.

Please explain what we are viewing.

This is a 2 piece locket style pendant with a simple jump link hinge. It is about 1 1/2 inches tall and 2 inches wide. (40mm by 50 mm) and cast in solid sterling silver.

Can you describe for a layman how it’s made?

I sculpt my jewelry pieces from a hard, petroleum based jewelers wax that is sold in small blocks. I prefer to carve subtractively rather than build up material like you would do with clay. Once the sculpture is complete it is encased in a type of plaster called investment and fired in a kiln. This process leaves you with a mold of your sculpture that melted metal can be cast into to produce a metal version of your original design. This process is commonly known as lost wax casting. There are several methods of casting metal but since I don't mass produce my work I use an old school broken arm centrifugal casting machine. It is basically a spring loaded metal arm that has a cradle for your plaster mold to sit in and right next to it is a ceramic dish that is used to melt metals in. Once the metal is melted in the dish the machines arm spins using the centrifugal force to push the liquid metal into the mold. The mold is then removed from the machine and placed in a bucket of water that dissolves the plaster mold away and leaves you with a metal casting of your original wax sculpture. I don't know if that would make any sense to a layman but that is what the internet is for.

Armor by flintlockprivateer Armor opened by flintlockprivateer Armor by flintlockprivateer

What tools did you use?

When I carve wax I primarily use rotary bits and files and very small carving knives and chisels. The list of jewelry making machines and tools are endless and insanely expensive. I have a full studio full of equipment and the machines that I built myself are just as efficient as the ones that I paid out the a$$ for.

What was your inspiration in creating this?

being a sculptor, I am a big fan of anatomy as well as anatomical models. This piece was inspired from the old "visible woman" model kit that sits on top of my toolbox. Since so much of the work that I do is literally dictated by blueprints and artwork from other designers, when I make my own pieces I like to keep the designs fast and loose, I normally don't spend much time drawing them out. I usually do a rough sketch and then an outline to transfer onto the carving material.

How long time did it take you to make this?

It took about 8 hours to carve the wax master.

Armor by flintlockprivateer Armor opened by flintlockprivateer Armor by flintlockprivateer

Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?

I played around with a few different ways to hinge the two pieces, I first envisioned it with two small hinges on the side of the torso but I liked the simplicity of the jump link and the way it can be opened effortlessly when someone is curious about it.

Are you happy with the result?

The piece came out exactly how it was designed to. The part casts very well with minimal clean up. The only thing I am still going to add to it is a heart shaped ruby to mount in the heart. The pre cut heart shaped stones that you can find on the market do not come that small so I will have them custom cut on the buyers request.

Where have you learnt your skills in this area?

I am "technically" a self taught artist but I have been working in art studios since I was in high school, I learned a LOT by trial and error but the majority of my knowledge of sculpture was learned in the field by those who were more experienced then me that gave me small nuggets of wisdom over the years. I think of it as a hundred tiny paid internships.

Armor by flintlockprivateer Armor opened by flintlockprivateer Armor by flintlockprivateer

Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?

I do take my own photos. I don't know much about photography but I know when you make something shiny out of metal you will see your reflection in it. When I prep my jewelry to take photos I polish them with a satin finish to hide the reflection and place them in natural sunlight.

What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?

Math is your best friend.

Are you selling your work?

I sell my work on a made to order basis. Half of the pieces that I make are one of a kind custom orders.

Coming soon by flintlockprivateer Armor custom by flintlockprivateer His and hers by flintlockprivateer Day of the dead  skull ring 2 by flintlockprivateer Hot Rod skeleton belt buckle by flintlockprivateer Day of the dead necklace by flintlockprivateer 'devils knuckleduster'  ring by flintlockprivateer Nasty habits by flintlockprivateer

Thank you flintlockprivateer for participating and taking the time to answer my question!


I'd love to recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.

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noformdesign's avatar
fantastic!! i've been watching his work here since i found it. unbelievably talented. i am truly envious.
A very good interview of an excellent artist.
AtelierFlowright's avatar
Es algo poco usual *w* me gusta! aplausos n.n
fairiesnest's avatar
omgosh that is beyond cool!
digikijo's avatar
this is really so cool.
i never saw sth similar.
cl2007's avatar
AJGlass's avatar
What a unique piece! I'm impressed that it opens up to show the internal organs like that.

An excellent choice for a Blueprint article.

Myana's avatar
Glad you enjoyed it! ;)
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