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Why learn lost wax casting?
This is a great technique for making your own, custom parts for a jewelry line or to set your work apart - and have someone else do all the casting and polishing! So you get finished pieces that are ready to use.
Take advantage of the intensive.
Join us for 10 days / 2 weeks of lost wax casting and learn wax carving, vacuum-assisted and centrifugal casting, mold making, and adding stone settings to your castings.
The main focus of this class is to learn how to make good wax models and for students to get practice with the casting and mold making process. Wax work is easy to set up in a home studio, and casting can be outsourced to a casting house.
First we start with carving, build-up and sculpting wax to cast into rings, beads, charms, clasps and more. This workshop will teach you how to use an electric wax pen, modify your wax picks, carve, file, saw and polish wax models. How to invest and cast your work, set up a small casting studio, and polishing your finished castings will also be covered during this retreat, as well as how to outsource reproduction of your models to casters. This is a great opportunity to learn all you need to know to make jewelry using the lost wax casting process, from start to finish.
Watch our video about the lost wax casting process and of students making wax models and casting during the workshop.
Next we will learn how to mold your models for reproduction, and how to use molds to speed up your wax model making process. Vulcanized rubber molds of your cast metal models allow you to make quick reproductions or use past work as a jumping off point for new designs. This class will also explore using RTV silicone rubber and alternative mold materials for making fast wax models.
We’ll also explore using found objects in the casting process. Anything that can burnout efficiently can be used to make a wax model, including leaves, twigs, flowers, seeds and nuts. All of the texture and detail of found objects can be cast into metal, and then molded for reproduction. Combine found objects with wax to add your own custom details.
Stone Setting in Wax Models
Finally, students will learn how to add stone settings to their castings. Wax can be formed to fit stones with unique shapes, like pearls, etc. Stones can be cast in place and polished after! You can also set up waxes for easy setting after casting, using bezels, prongs and other setting techniques.
Settings in wax don't have to look like traditional metal settings. Prongs and bezels can be sculptural and subtle, like branches, flowers, tendrils of hair or other motifs. In addition to how to create settings in wax, more wax techniques will be taught, including how to use a mini wax lathe to spin perfect rings and round forms like bezels. It's also easier and more forgiving to prepare settings, like flush settings, in a wax model. This class includes demonstrations of how to set stones in wax and how to cast them in place.
Basic setting skills for bezels and prongs will be demonstrated. Students who have had other courses, like tube and flush setting, could use those techniques with their castings. Students will cast their pieces during the workshop and finish their settings in metal.
Casting your models made during class is included.
Basic of Lost Wax Casting
• Wax carving
• Wax build up
• Spruing and investing models for casting
• Setting up a burnout
• Casting: Vacuum assisted and centrifugal
• Polishing models after casting
• Working with casting houses
Mold Making and Found Objects
• Vulcanized rubber molds
• RTV 2 part silicone mold
• 2 part putty mold
• Alternative mold materials suitable for wax
• Cutting open molds
• Troubleshooting molds
• Using wax injectors
• Cleaning up waxes injected from molds
• Combining injected waxes into new designs
• Choosing and casting found objects
Making Stone Settings in Wax
• Adapting Stone Settings to Lost Wax
• Milling wax
• Using a wax lathe
• Using build up wax to create custom seats for stones
• Adjusting settings after casting
• Casting stones in place
Class includes use of tools and a kit of materials. All materials, like wax and bronze casting grain, to make the sample projects included with the class. Beads and findings to string your projects not included.
Class policies for refunds, transfers and cancelations.
Open to all levels. Beginners and intermediate students welcome!
Location: Silvera Jewelry School, Berkeley, CA