Lost Wax Casting
The process of lost wax casting dates back thousands of years and was used to make everything from the largest bronze statues to the smallest charms. Today, I use this ancient method to create many of my jewelry pieces. For me, the process starts with an inspiration piece.
First, I make a rubber mold of the inspiration piece and wax is then melted into the mold. The hardened wax replica is attached to a tube of wax called a sprue. Several sprued wax pieces are then attached to a sprue base. The sprue base is placed in a steel flask and a plaster-like investment is poured into the flask.
When the investment has hardened, the steel cylinder is placed into a kiln and the wax is burned out. Molten sterling is then poured into the investment and is forced into the cavity created by the lost wax either by centrifugal force or by vacuum. After the silver cools, the investment is dissolved in water, revealing a silver replica of the original item.
Photographer: Tara O Photos Website Designers: Carly Reynolds and Cameron O'Steen