From handmade jewelry to iconic weaponry, casting in metalworking is an ancient and honored craft that is still practiced today.
Making your own metal casted jewelry isn’t as difficult as it may sound. The process starts very simply. Before carving your design into a mold to be casted, sketch out the design on a piece of paper first. You can actually ketch out the design in the exact size of the piece desired and then cut it out.
Next, get a large enough piece of carving wax that will fit your design. Make sure it is large enough for you to feel comfortable carving into. While the process isn’t extremely complicated, it is still a craft that requires a flair for design, an eye for detail and a steady hand.
You will need tools to carve out your mold. There are a variety of tools you can use when creating molds for casting, some of these include a fettling knife, a mold makers knife or a carving chisel, just to name a few.
Take your cut design or use your sketch as reference. Place your design onto the carving mold. It is important to note that molds are actually the negative of the design. They appear like a hollow cavity where the liquid metal will eventually be poured into. The cast itself is the positive of the design, the piece that is taken out of or ejected from the mold.
So what does this mean when you are carving your mold? This means you want to carve around the total shape of your design and in the opposite areas of the cast. It is an extraction process to create an addition process. You are working in the inverted world here.
Once the carving is complete and you are happy with your design, you can send it to a metal casting company, this is assuming you do not have your own furnace to melt metals into liquid molten.
The metal caster will melt the desired metal (silver, bronze, gold) and pour it into your mold. Once the molded metal cools, the cast aka your lovely design is broken out from the mold and voila! You have your first piece of handmade metal casted jewelry!
The best part is you can use this mold over and over again to create replicas of your design, making it a very efficient way to keep cost down and to sustain materials. Additionally, these reproductions can make great gifts and can even be a side craft generating extra income!