Around 2009 a friend, the artist Andrew Sexton, asked for assistance with a project. He wanted to make a gift that involved transforming a classic rubber rat toy into a substantial piece of silver bling. We began with a silicon mold of the rat to create a lost wax duplicate, which allowed for thickening up the tail and repositioning it to form a bail. It was my first direct pour using silver… as with anything it had its learning curve. It required several hours blasting the silver with an oxy-acetylene rig before we realized we needed a broader torch tip for melting. In all the thing drank up nearly five ounces, a real sternum buster. It was also my first stone setting, if I recall, involving two small pink rubies for the eyes.