After lots of carving and lots of frustration, I finally reached a great design. It’s not flat and is very dynamic and has good form. YAY! I just tried a different approach to carving the wax. Turns out it was the right approach!
Once I finished carving, I had to sand and polish the wax with very fine sandpaper before it is invested. The wax was given a nice shine with some pantyhose! I tried to get my wax as perfect as can be, because it’s easier to clean up mistakes in wax than it is in metal, after the piece is cast.
The process of casting metal is pretty cool. You start with an organic material, like wax, which will be burned out at an extremely high temperature. This object is placed in a plaster-like material called investment. When exposed to high temperatures, the wax will burn out, but leave an exact imprint in the plaster- a “ghost” if you like. After the burn-out, metal is melted down in a molten liquid and placed in a centrifuge along with the flask. The metal flows into the investment into the “ghost” space, cools and WALA! You have cast your metal object (easier said than done)!
My flask full of investment- my link is in there somewhere.
That’s me holding the torch, casting my metal!
Before investing, I had to sprue my wax. This is essential because the sprues provide a passageway for the metal to travel. Without sprues, your metal would go everywhere and your piece would not cast.
Once I successfully had my link in bronze, I spent about 2 weeks filing and sanding, to get it nice and smooth. It paid off in the end because right now I think it looks great.
This is what it looked like half-way through filing and sanding:
And this is what it looks like finished, with a high polish:
But wait, you didn’t think I was done, did you? HAHA. No. Now I must solder a metal sprue to this baby, but I’ll be making a vulcanized rubber mold of my master link. That way, I will be able to inject wax into the mold to create multiples of the link, and repeating the casting process to create a linkage necklace! I intend on doing the multiple links in sterling silver. I have so much to do!