Botanicals - Pine Twigs

I grew up with a lot of pine trees around. My German  home state Brandenburg, the area around Berlin, has some of the most extensive pine forest in Europe. As a kid I used to climb these trees at our summer home and some winters we even walked in the forrest and picked out a pine tree as a christmas tree.
Now I have a huge pine tree in the back yard of my Los Angeles home. It brings back old childhood memories. It also creates a constant mess in the yard. Pine needles everywhere.
To turn the mess into something nice I started my own little project. I picked some dry twigs from our tree and made rings out of them.

The first set I did by pressing the twigs in a molding clay and creating wax replicas. The advantage was that one side if the resulting wax rod was already smooth and almost perfect for the inside of the rings. Some texture gets lost this way, but the outcome was still amazingly detailed.

For the second test I did cast the wooden twigs  directly without molding them first. 

The twigs were attached with wax to rubber sprue base before plaster investing and burn out. 

Twigs right after casting. There is still some investment in the recesses.

Cast Sterling Silver twigs

After casting I formed them in a forming block to a ring and soldered the ends together. The insides were smoothed out a bit. Oxidation was applied with Liver of Sulfur  and then lightly polished to just leave the black in the recesses. 

I love to just stare at the rustic texture and admire the beautiful nature of the twigs. I am not planning to offer those rings in my store but rather treat this as my own little science project to explore  the beauty of botanical things. I did some other test with different twigs and bark too. So stay tuned for more botanical inspired posts.

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