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Casting

Anna Tinkelenberg

I have enjoyed casting from when I learned about the process in school almost 2 years ago. When Kristen asked if I would like to talk about the casting process, I jumped on the opportunity!

The casting we do at Kristen Baird is Lost Wax Casting. In this process, we start with a wax model. This model can be carved out of wax or can be 3-D printed in wax. Because we currently do not have the equipment to cast in our studio, we send out the wax model for casting.

The model is then attached to a rubber base and placed in a metal cylinder called a flask. The caster then mixes investment, which creates the mold for casting, and pours it into the flask. After the investment hardens, the caster removes the rubber base and places the flask in a kiln. In the kiln, the wax is melted out, leaving a mold to cast into. When the kiln finishes the burnout, the mold is ready for casting.

When the mold is ready, the caster prepares for casting. The mold is placed into a machine for casting. I prefer to use a centrifugal casting machine. The caster places the flask in the machine, and places the metal in the crucible, where the metal will be heated for casting. The caster uses a torch to heat the metal until it is molten. The caster then closes the lid of the machine, triggering the motor. The machine then spins the metal into the mold. When the machine stops spinning, the caster opens the machine, takes out the flask, and quenches it cold water. The now casted piece is pulled out of the flask. The caster removes any excess investment left on the piece. The piece is then sent back to our studio.

As you can tell, this is a very technical process with lots of steps involved, but the results are amazing! When we get the piece back, we clean and polish the piece. Lastly, we set the stones and do one final polish.

Do you have any questions? Let us know! We’re thrilled to hear from you. Your question may give us inspiration for a new blog post.

Catch you on the flipside…

Anna 


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