Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Casting Five

My wife sold some of her silver pieces I made and so I needed to get some replacements back in the pipeline. Gloria's stash of silver jewelery (that I made) is kind of like my active inventory. She knows I can make a replacement if I need to. She is my primary sales agent!

Some of her silver is totally hand carved so it is impossible for me to make a perfect duplicate. But I get close. I don't mind making copies but I mostly enjoy making new designs. All shown here except for the Celtic crosses have been made by me a least once before. 

I am not showing ALL the steps here, just the general progression. There are quite a few stages in doing lost wax casting. I enjoy every each one of them.

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Here are five carvings in four flasks. There is a full stage just in getting the carvings on the sprue and into the cans. Proper spruing is an a skill all of its own. The wax is now buried in the investment. The numbers will burn off in the 1350 degree kiln so I scratched the number in the investment too.
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All five items are flawless. The casting turned out properly. Note the two different crosses cast together in one flask. I love it when a plan comes together and works properly. Silver turns white when pickled in acid. A necessary cleaning process after casting. I have cut the sprues of and they will be added to future silver melts. The old sprues remind me of chicken bones...
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All cleaned and ready for final assembly into pendents. This is the most I have made in one kiln heating. My kiln can hold four flasks and possibly five if they were all of my smallest size.  Here we are with the bales attached and ready to wear. All that is required is a silver chain of the wearer's desired length.

I have several more wax masters to cast but I didn't have room for more flasks in the kiln. I now have 44.2 grams of silver in the cut off sprues (chicken bones) that I will work into future casts. Silver never goes to waste. Doing four flasks at one time does create more leftover sprue material than usual. The rule is to not use more than 50 percent old silver in a new cast. I have fudged on that rule with good results. However, the copper to silver ratio may get out of line with the proper Sterling Silver mix. Some copper is lost in each melt.

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