Investing in the Future

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!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Investing in the Future

  1. Suzanne

    Any fun shapes coming out of these castings??

  2. 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.

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