a lot of people have been interested and asking how i make my jewelry. in my world, the term "lost wax method" is something of the norm and occasionally i forget that not many people actually know what it is. well, today i'm going to give you a glimpse into this method and how my jewelry is created!
here's my bench with some of my tools very neatly laid out (usually it's a big disaster zone). my saw, some files in various sizes and grit, dividers, wax working tools, flexshaft hand piece (most people would refer to it as a dremel), burs, a wax pen.... --- my set-up is very basic at this time, but it gets the job done.
wax. my preferred wax is green. there are other colors, which all have a different consistency. i learned on green, so i have never strayed from it. It's really hard and easy to add fine detail with.
measure, cut, file all edges of wax perfectly flat and perpendicular, create reference points, and begin.
here are 3 of the pieces in my shop in different stages of their creating in wax.
top left: knit. bracelet bar (you can still see reference points since this is in the early stage)
top right: zipper pull fob (almost there, but still needs to be thinned out and fine tuned)
bottom: button charm (done, minus the top loop)
here are all the pieces finished in wax and ready to be molded and cast!
here's a video on youtube i found of a guy who takes you through the molding and casting process. it's not the greatest video quality, but it's short and to the point. **also, please note that at the beginning of the video he is using a resin model whereas my models are wax.
if you don't want to watch the video (which i would highly recommend you do because it's pretty cool!) i will describe the process briefly here:
rubber mold is made of original wax model.
wax is injected into the mold to create a copy of the original model.
model is put in a flask on a wax "tree".
plaster of paris or "investment" is poured over model in flask.
flask is placed in a kiln where the wax burns out and plaster hardens over the course of hours.
metal (silver, gold, platinum...) is melted.
flask is placed in a centrifuge and molten metal is shot into the flask.
flask is then dunked in a bucket of water, plaster falls off and you're left with the casting.
cast, cut off the sprue, filed, sanded, polished and assembled.
hope that helps you envision it a bit more! it's a lot of work and takes much longer, a ton of training, education (I'm constantly learning new things) and more skill than most people would think. one thing i can absolutely vouch for is that there is nothing like having the ability to do this with your bare hands. to me, there's just something extra special about a handmade piece of jewelry that you can feel versus something that was computer created. though, i may just be partial!