What is lost wax casting for sterling silver?

Lost wax casting can be traced back 6000 years to the Indus Valley civilization.

It’s first ever recorded use was the creation of a brass amulet, but it’s since been adapted for use with a wide variety of metals. I chose this technique to make my rings because of its tight tolerances and excellent, smooth finish, as well as to pay homage to the time honoured history of jewellery making.

Design and Modelling

Every ring starts as a loose collection of ideas in my head. I draw inspiration from ancient works as well as modern design; a coin from the 1900s, or minimalist contemporary line-work, anything can be made into a Sterling Silver ring.

Once I have a concrete idea of what I want to create, I begin the modelling process by making a sketch of the ring profile. This step allows me to refine the idea into something worth casting.

Band Ring structural sketches By Remy Design | Jewellery design ...

Using traditional lost wax carving techniques, I begin bringing my design from paper to reality. This is the step where I test the comfort and sizing of the ring, exposing any flaws in the architecture.

A commission based on a lemon tree branch.

If the piece I’m working on is a commission, I’ll typically meet with the customer and ensure the wax is to their specifications and fits perfectly. Once I have the customers thoughts, I make any adjustments as required. It’s now ready to be set in clay.

Reborn in Silver

Investment moulding is the next step in the process. This part involves placing the wax mould in a tub of a specialized concrete-like material and vacuum chambering it to remove any bubbles. The investment usually dries out in a couple hours. At this point it’ll be ready for 5-12 hours in the kiln.

After its done cooking the freshly baked loaf of concrete is taken out and the fun (extremely dangerous) part begins. Using a lot of flammable and explosive gas, a cup / bucket / big bucket is filled with molten metal. At this point a taste test must be conducted to ensure the quality of the metal. If the taste test is passed, the metal is poured into the concrete mould and the taste tester is taken to hospital.

Finished Ring

After I polish and clean up the cast it’ll look something like this:

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