Fire and Metal

Sprued models

There is something so dramatic about casting. The fire, sense of mystery, and transformation of a material from wax to metal is so magical that I love sharing the process with others. The process is also very zen, because as much work as you put into your piece, there is no guarantee that your piece will turn out perfectly every time.

Lost wax casting is an ancient art, and one whose tools have not changed all that much over the centuries*. Artists start by creating a positive in wax. That positive is then immersed in plaster, which hardens, and then the wax is burned out in a kiln overnight. Metal is then heated in a crucible to it’s melting point, and with luck, it will fill the plaster mold perfectly. With some filing and polishing, you have a beautiful finished piece.
*One caveat to this statement. With the use of 3D modeling and printers, you can use a 3D printed model in order to create a plaster mold from, in the same way you would use a wax model to create a mold from. Think of it as ‘lost plastic casting’!

Unfinished castings, Sons of Anarchy rings
Finished casting

These are some rings I was commissioned to make, and I modeled them using 3D software. I printed them out on a 3D printer and then cast them in silver. You can get more complex shapes that way that you can’t carve out by hand.




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