People have been wearing cast jewellery for over a thousand years. One of the most traditional methods of creating a mould to cast gold rings out of is called the Lost Wax method, where the ring is sculpted in wax, moulded then heated to remove the wax, leaving an empty mould behind. This technique is still used today to create jewellery of all kinds.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Jeweller's wax
- Sculpting tools
- Metal plate
- Plastic container
- Hot glue
- Small mixing bowl
Sculpt the ring out of jeweller's wax. You can purchase wax that is already in tubes of various sizes, which only require you to cut off a slice, smooth it and carve in any details.
Add three 1/2-inch sprues (small wax cylinders or sticks) to the outside of the ring with a bit of melted wax. They should be positioned to create a Y shape with the ring in the centre. The bottom sprue will attach to the base, while the top ones are for pouring in the melted gold and allowing the air to escape.
Attach the ring form to the metal base by the bottom sprue. Use melted wax as glue.
Attach a plastic container to the metal base with hot glue. It should be only slightly larger than the ring form, with no more than 1/2-inch clearance on the sides. Cut the top off to form an open cylinder if needed.
Mix a batch of plaster and water according to the directions on the plaster's packaging.
Pour the plaster into the container, completely covering the ring form. Stop pouring when the top sprues are almost, but not completely, covered.
Tap the sides of the container to force any trapped air bubbles to the top.
Allow the plaster mould to dry and remove it from the container.
Put the mould into a microwave and melt out the wax, leaving an empty mould. The time required will depend on the density of the wax, the thickness of the mould and the power of your microwave.
Tips and warnings
- To make a ring, pour molten gold into the mould until it fills it completely. Once the gold has cooled, break off the mould (this is why it should be thin). Cut off the sprues, then sand and polish the ring.
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