How to Cast Jewelry
Casting Jewelry parts is different to die casting parts,Casting Jewelry is an ancient skill that has been around for as long as there has been jewelry in the world. The Ancient Egyptians are usually credited with perfecting the process but casting jewelry was also practiced by meso American societies and cultures located in Asia and the Middle East. The casting process is called Lost-wax and is still very popular with craftsmen who enjoy making hand made jewelry.
By the name of the process, one can guess that wax is involved of which will be lost. While the Lost-wax process is mainly used for the casting of rings and bracelets, other items such as sculptures can also be created. Investment casting is another name of this casting jewelry method and both are acceptable terms it just depends on the speaker’s preference.
The Lost-wax casting process has many benefits. When making jewelry this way, the caster will be able to make identical pieces quickly and efficiently.
There are several companies and individuals willing to cast the piece for you for a price. Many of these companies may overcharge, the cost of commerce, so if you have the resources and ability you might be better of casting your own jewelry.
Lost-wax casting involves a number of steps. If followed properly and with precision the artist will find the process enjoyable. Before you begin, you will need to come up with an idea for the piece of jewelry. Generally, the sculpture of the piece is created using wax though some prefer having a metal master copy in case of mistakes. You are going to create the mold using the original. The molds used for casting jewelry allow a great amount of detail. When the mold is finished, you are going to fill it with wax to create a wax copy which will then be coated with sand and silica. This ceramic shell will then be heated so that the wax is melted out. The wax can be reused so make sure to safely collect it during this step. The ceramic copy will be hollow and you will have to test it for holes before pouring the molten metal. Afterwards, you will lightly hammer the ceramic shell away to reveal the finished product.
The end result of the Lost-wax process is usually very detailed and exact creating a beautiful piece.
Casting jewelry can be a profitable business depending upon your skill level and creativity. This skill is diminishing as the jewelry companies switch to computerized and automatic means of creating their pieces. While this move is smart for the jewelry business as it reduces the production cost, the end result lacks a certain desirable element that hand made jewelry posses.
Casters will be able to use the mold created during the Lost-wax process a few times before a new mold has to be made. Extra care and attention has to be paid to polishing any imperfections or patching any variants during the casting process. Several things can go wrong during casting especially when you remove the mold so take care to be extra careful and attentive during this time.
Casting jewelry is a valuable skill to master and if you plan on making any money from your home foundry, this is a good place to start.