Coffee, Cuttlefish & CreativeMornings

What can help a non-morning person through a 7 am wake up call? In our case, coffee, and lots of fire.

Recently, we hosted a FieldTrip for CreativeMornings. Wanting to provide a hands-on workshop for our fellow Austin-area creatives, we started with cuttlefish bones, which everyone used as a canvas for their unique design. Then we helped them cast their visions into existence using molten metal.

CreativeMornings FieldTrip at Christopher Taylor Timberlake          Christopher Taylor Timberlake metal casting

When it came to carving their cuttlebone molds, the FieldTrippers fell into a couple of different approaches.

The Meanderer

The meanderer starts carving, using the tools with no real destination in mind. You don’t quite know what you’ll end up with after the casting process. The result can be quite surprising and serendipitous, in the case of this little guy.

Cuttlefish bone mold carving          Slug cast in bronze from a cuttlefish mold

The Planner

Unlike the organic approach of the meanderer, the planner carves deliberately, knowing where she or he wants to go. We were blown away with these two designs – expertly rendered into the cuttlefish canvas. And, the results were equally beautiful!

Gorgeous cuttlefish molds - Christopher Taylor Timberlake  Cuttlefish mold post-metal casting - Christopher Taylor Timberlake  Finished cuttlefish-cast design - Christopher Taylor Timberlake


Cuttlefish molds post-cast - Christopher Taylor TimberlakeCast-offs Can Be Beautiful

One of the things we love about hosting jewelry-making workshops is seeing the by-products of the process. They can be beautiful in their own right! Take a look at the group’s cuttlefish molds post-casting.



Meet the Mollusk!

Cuttlefish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, taken by Kim TidwellSo, what’s a cuttlefish anyway? This little guy is not a fish at all, instead, a mollusk, a cephalopod, like his squid or octopus cousin. They have a unique internal shell, a thick calcified ‘bone.’ This cuttlebone has a plaster-like feel and is a perfect medium for carving molds. The bone also has an organic ridged pattern that adds dimension and texture to the finished metal.


Fun fact: the cuttlefish bone has been used for metal casting since antiquity, particularly in the Mediterranean cultures.


Check out Chris’s jewelry designs made with this ancient technique.


Thanks for CreativeMornings/Austin for partnering with us to make this workshop possible!

Interested in learning more about Chris’s jewelry-making techniques or upcoming events and workshops? Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page.