Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Waxy Hints for Casting
I just love making cast jewelry. It’s so much like sculpture but on a miniature scale. Works great for electroforming too! I know bead makers often find it easier to make a medium or large sized bead than to translate what they want into a miniature. It’s not easy to do that without losing the all of detail and grandeur that brought them to that idea in the first place. The same goes for making the initial wax for the lost wax casting. It’s always a balancing act to decide what the mind will fill in if you leave a detail out.
I most often work with a pink wax that is very pliable – maybe that translates to the fact I’m mostly a middle of the road kind of person (I even drive in the middle at times, much to the horror of my husband). There is a green wax that is softer and plenty of rock hard ones on the other end you can carve with a jack hammer (just kidding but you do need some really sharp tools). I like the pink but at times you need something with just a little more oomph that will hold a detail AND is easily carved.
After a whole lot of Google work and networking I think I have found the solution. At least it is now my solution to this issue, courtesy of that great wax worker Michael Sturlin. He melts red injection wax in a double boiler and pours it in to tin for later use with a heat tool. It works wonderfully. It attaches nicely to the pink wax with the heat tool and doesn’t melt in your hand - (now I want some M&M’s). It’s not that expensive to do either. Besides, it’s more expensive to ruin a piece you’ve worked on for eight hours because your hands are warm and you just can't get that last little line on it. Now THAT”S frustrating and I am definitely NOT into that ---- keep to the center please!
The photos will give you an idea of what I did to get the wax and a couple of samples of my silver castings. They’re becoming more and more complicated as time goes on. Someday maybe I'll get the mermaid done that goes around a large lentil bead. Personally, it's the bead that's the hold up. I want the perfect one and haven't figured out what that would be.