Welcome to the latest episode of “In The Studio” starring me, Tammy Kirks, as the metalsmith of the semester. This week’s episode is [Investment Casting](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment_casting). This takes casting to a whole new level. It’s much more intricate, takes longer, is really messy, but produces very detailed results.
We started by using dental alginate (the strawberry-flavored crap they use for impressions) to make molds of whatever we chose. I molded my dimples (I had to smile for a full minute while it hardened) and my bent wrist. Once the alginate has cured, you dip it in hot injection wax, peel it off and you have a wax model of whatever you want to cast. Then there’s a bunch of other stuff you do (I’ll let you read about it on Wikipedia) to get it ready for the plaster. Investment plaster is interesting. You mix it in a rubber bowl by hand. And by that I mean, with your hands. So you dunk your hands into this cold, creamy mess and mix for about 4 minutes. Once you remove all the air bubbles from the plaster (another intricate method) you pour it around your wax piece that’s in a flask. When it hardens, you fire it in a kiln for 5-8 hours, then it’s ready for casting. I did two molds today and they will be fired tomorrow. I hope to be able to actually cast them before the end of class.
Stay tuned for more exciting adventures in casting!
2 responses to “Investing in the Future”
Any fun shapes coming out of these castings??
We’ll soon see. My dimples looked really weird as did the bend in my wrist. I have no idea what I’ll do with them, if anything. This is just for fun right now.