Most crafters are familiar with the process of moldmaking for models, art pieces, masks, dolls and other objects made from plaster, plastic resin or latex. You can also apply this same process of moulding and casting to casting jewellery with some small changes made to account for the heat of the liquid metal. One type of jewellery that makes for a simple, attractive cast is the ring.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Ring template
- Cardboard box
- Modelling clay
- Silicone RTV rubber and catalyst
- Stirring tool
- Plastic cup
- Mold release agent
- Razor blade
- Rubber bands
- Graphite powder
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
- Thick baking gloves
- Melting pot
- Heat-proof surface
- Melting ladle
- Steel tray
- Craft knife
Take a lidless cardboard box that is larger than your ring template. Cover the seams, sides and bottom with modelling clay so the mould material does not leak out of the box.
Mix together the silicone RTV rubber and its catalyst in a plastic cup. Pour the rubber into the box, filling it halfway.
Press the ring into the rubber, but do not submerge it completely. Let the rubber cure for eight hours, then spray it with mould release.
Mix together more silicone RTV rubber and pour it into the box, over the ring, to make the other half of the mould. Let the rubber cure for eight hours.
Take the moulding box apart and remove the ring from the centre of the mould. Discard the moulding box.
Carve a tunnel into the mould with the razor blade, so you can access the hollow part of the mould from the outside. Dust the entire mould with graphite powder, making sure to work it into the mould's crevices.
Fit the mould halves together and wrap rubber bands around them to hold them in place.
Put on your dust mask and safety goggles to protect yourself from any pewter particles. Place your melting pot onto a heat-proof surface. Keep the baking gloves nearby.
Heat up the melting pot. Place a piece of pewter into the melting pot and let it melt into a completely liquid state.
Place your mould onto a steel tray beside the melting pot. Put on the baking gloves and pour the molten pewter into the mould in a steady stream.
Put the melting pot back down on the heat-proof surface. Let the metal in the mould cool completely, for several hours. You can test the metal's temperature with a drop of water. If the water sizzles, the metal is not cool.
Take the mould apart and remove the pewter ring. Cut away any excess pewter from the ring with a sharp knife. If necessary, sand the edge.
Tips and warnings
- You can also use a plaster mould to cast pewter.
- Do not use a lead-based pewter alloy, as they are extremely toxic to work with.
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