Playing with Fire

Francis tells me I’m supposed to blog about one of my techniques or processes today.  But Francis didn’t specify which one. How do you choose which tool in a box full of tools you should talk about?  Do you pick your favorite? The one you use the most? The one no one knows much about? Francis, what am I talking about today?

Oh! Ok.  Thanks Francis.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we’ll be talking about a common process called lost wax casting.  There are many techniques and reasons to use lost wax casting, I’ll be going over my methods and reasons today.  I start with a vision of a sculpture or figure I want to make in metal or that you want me to make in metal and I determine whether it is better to fabricate the object directly in metal or to create it in wax first to create a mold and then pour molten metal into that mold.  Sometimes the object is complicated or detailed in such a way that casting is the method of choice. When it is, I use different types of wax to form the sculpture using both additive and subtractive processes. This common technique then results in putting the wax model into a type of plaster mold called investment, firing it in a kiln to both melt out the wax and to condition the investment.  From there I take the mold and use a centrifuge to sling molten metal into the cavity created by the wax.

Now, there are different reasons to use a casting system.  The first is to be able to get details that are more difficult to obtain when working directly in metal.  The second is to reduce cost when mass producing. Here, we don’t really work with the second one as much.  Almost everything is one-of-a-kind. When we cast, it’s usually for the details, not for mass production. In order to mass produce, we would need to create rubber molds and use wax injection to mass produce our products.  But we value one-of-a-kind creations more. I have very few rubber molds because you who use our services don’t want to be duplicated. You want to be individuals with unique items. Well, that and the fact that making the same thing every day is boring.  Much more so when you’re making hundreds of the same thing every. single. day. So, if you see something you like on our site, buy it. And if you have something in mind that you don’t see, email us. Casting is only one technique and metal is only one medium.  Our toolkits and skill sets are pretty full and we like to experiment.

Francis is telling me it’s time for rum.  Reckon we’ll put our matching eye patches on and slip into our e-Quips yoga capris and start dancing to the Party Rock Anthem.  Shake that! Every day I’m shufflin’.

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