In a time where everything is done by machines, crafting has lost its essence. That is why it is refreshing to see anything handmade.
Casting jewellery is a form of art that has been around for thousands of years, which have been used by craftsmen from times untold. It is basically pouring molten precious metals into moulds and then prying the solidified casting out of the moulds. With technological advancements, jewellery casting has become easier and more dynamic. The most used procedure for casting is the lost wax process.
What is lost wax casting?
Casting is the process of pouring molten precious metal into a mould. It is called lost wax casting because the wax sculpture is lost as it melts away and it leaves a metal with a hollow chamber where the liquid metal is poured into.
How to cast jewellery?
Here’s a basic rundown of how to cast jewellery.
- First, a wax model or pattern is created. Plaster will then be poured all over the wax pattern to create an ‘invested’ mould.
- The mould previously prepared will be placed into an oven until the plaster hardens.
- The wax will melt out when heated in the oven. A small opening is set when creating the wax pattern. This small opening will serve as a channel where the wax can melt away leaving a hollow cavity in the mould.
- Molten precious metals can now be poured into the hollow cavity of the wax-free mould with a vacuum machine or a centrifugal casting machine.
- A few minutes later, the mould is thrown into cold water where the mould will dissipate. Now, you just simply reach and pull out the finished product. A jewellery made in the exact replica of your wax pattern.
Although jewellery casting cannot be done by just anyone, mostly because of the special machinery used, it is still nice to know how it was created.