THE MOULD OF A MAN’S FORTUNE IS IN HIS OWN HANDS
FEBRUARY 03, 2014 by DOROTHY MURPHY
Lost wax casting is the method Chupi uses to create her beautiful pieces. The technique has been used as far back as Egyptian times to create amazingly detailed pieces. The term Lost wax casting itself refers to the process of creating duplicates of a sculpture. In Chupi’s case this can be anything from creating an army of tiny bunny rabbits to capturing the intricate details of a beautiful piece of twine.
The lost wax process can be done with any material that can melt, evaporate or burn to leave a mould cavity. The process for making jewellery using this technique is slightly different to the process you would follow if you were making say a large sculpture. A wax model is made by either hand carving a model or a method that injects wax into a rubber mould. The wax model or even multiple models are then sprued onto a rubber base known as a sprue base. A metal tube is then placed over the sprue base and wax model. This tube is well fitted to the sprue base creating a leakproof structure ready for the next stage of production. A special type of plaster known as investment or refractory plaster is then poured into the pipe enclosing the wax model and filling it up to the top. When the plaster hardens the wax is then then burned out leaving the desired shape behind. The next step of casting is then usually done straight directly from the kiln using vacuum or centrifugal casting.
What other jewellery techniques would you like to learn more about?