Most silver artwork, jewellery or statues are cast with sand. The craftsman creates a mould with a special sand called "green sand" which contains a small amount of clay. The sand accurately mirrors the shape of the model and the artist can remove it from the finished casting with little effort. The sand is reusable.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sand with binders such as clay
- Cores or chaplets
- Protective gear
Check the shape of the model. Sand casting uses two moulds for the top and bottom and both must be larger at the middle of the model than the edges.
Combine the sand with the clay or other binders in a separate box. Press sand into the mould evenly, using the heel of your hand to compress it. There will be one for the each half of the model.
Heat the silver in the furnace until it melts. Usually, this is around 649 degrees Celsius.
Inspect the model. Look for any areas that may have problems getting an easy flow of silver. Plan the location of the channel from the top of the mould into the core. Press the model or pattern into the sand in one half of the mould halfway. If necessary, remove the model and press it into the other half of the mould. Press cores or shapes into the sand to all parts of the cavity so the silver will flow evenly. Slowly press the other half of the mould over the model. Each half of the mould will fit with the other half through the use of registry pins on the sides of the mould. Press shapes or cores in the sand from the top of the mould for the pouring channel.
Open the mould slowly. Remove the model. Inspect the mould to ensure that the model is accurately reflected in the sand and that the runners and pouring channel are clear and open. Remove the runners.
Join the two halves of the mould, taking care to do it accurately. Commercial moulds will have registry pins to ensure the halves meet correctly. Remove the pouring core.
Put on protective gear and slowly pour the molten silver into the mould. Pour slowly enough that the silver can completely fill the mould.
Knock the sand off the silver once the mould has cooled. Trim any excess silver.
Tips and warnings
- Wear the protective gear. Molten silver burns instantly.
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