In high school I decided to push my wax-carving skills to their limits by carving a replica of a saxophone. I borrowed one from the band department, brought it to the jewelry lab, and spent the next few weeks meticulously reproducing it on a three-inch scale.
When the time came to cast it, something went terribly wrong either in the investment process or the casting process and the model was essentially destroyed. Having spent so much time on it, I decided to make the best of the situation and make what survived look even worse, deciding to make it look as though it had been through a nuclear war. In the finishing process I left a lot of polishing compound on the piece to make it dirty, and mounted it on a base that I had scorched and roughly sanded.