The Fine Art of Metal Casting

February 11, 2015

Have you ever wondered how jewelry designers make multiple copies of a beautiful design? Jewelry casting is the answer, and this process uses various metals to produce the cast to help a designer create more than a single piece.

The initial design is made in either wax or metal. This original piece is just that - original and not store bought. That means that technically, the copies aren't mere copies but originals as well!

Other elements made just for casting include "findings." Findings are components or materials commonly used in jewelry making including clasps, bead caps and bead cones used for multi-strand necklaces. The fine details are important to me so the jewelry I create contains original designs down to the findings.

1. Create

Here's an uniquely designed etched bead cap I made out of copper:

 Copper bead cap

2. Make a mold

To replicate this bead cap, I took it to a local mold maker. The images below show the two part mold they made for me.

casting mold open      casting mold closed

 3. Pour the metal

Next, they poured liquid bronze into the mold two times using two different colors of bronze. This process can be also be done with gold or silver.

4. Voila

I now have beautiful bead caps of my own design ready to assemble into earrings.

   bronze bead caps

 

And the finished product looks like this:

 pearl earrings with bronze bead caps

As I mentioned before, the details are very important to me when creating jewelry art. Here is a copper hook I made by hand that was then cast into argentium silver.

copper and silver hooks

I also made silver toggles and copper toggle bars that I had cast into argentium silver.

copper and silver toggle and bar clasp     silver toggle bar and bar clasp

Here is a bone, silver and tassel front toggle necklace using the above cast toggles and hook. (I saved the cast toggle bars for another project.)

  bone silver tassel front toggle necklace

As you can see, my process involves crafting my own jewelry-making components and casting them into various metals to assemble unique pieces down to the very last detail.

You can purchase the bone, silver and tassel front toggle necklace here.

 



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