Beads and Yarn

What is Lost Wax Casting?

Lost wax casting is a great technique for making original and interesting jewelry components. Lots of jewelers use it to produce their own designs. The best part is you can use your original model to subcontract some of the work for your jewelry by having a caster cast and polish your pieces for you.

The process is simple. In a nutshell, you create a wax model of your design. That wax model is set inside a steel flask and covered with plaster investment, leaving a funnel and tunnel to reach the wax through the hardened plaster. The flask is put into a kiln and the wax is "lost" as it's burned out of the flask. The flask is placed in a casting machine and the void left behind in the plaster is filled with molten metal. To see the process from spruing the wax through casting, watch this little video I've made. You may need the QuickTime plugin for Mac or PC to view the video.

As a designer, you don't even have to touch a wax or cast your own work. Most jewelers send their waxes to be reproduced by a caster - a dedicated subcontractor who can mold, cast and polish your work for you. I have a list of casters here on my site and can help my clients find a caster to hire.