Harvest Charm - How It's Made March 25 2020

I recently launched a new line of jewelry called Harvest Charm.  It features hand-sculpted shapes that are cast in silver and bronze.  The main difference between these new pieces and my original Beth Jewelry line is the process in which they’re made. The original line features wire shapes that that have been created one-at-a-time, by hand, by me, in the comfort of my home office. I will keep making these pieces that continue to be well-loved:)

This new line requires the use of a studio and equipment that I don’t have space for.  I'm fortunate to be able to use some local studio space (when we're not in a pandemic!) to polish my casting skills.  For the time being, I'm sculpting the wax shapes at home in anticipation of getting back in the studio to cast.

Here's more about the process of casting.

I start by sculpting shapes in wax.

creating wax shapes for casting

handcrafted whimsical wax shapes

These are attached to a wax sprue,

waxes attached to a sprue

then placed in a flask that gets filled with a plaster-like substance.

flasks ready for investment

There are lots of steps, but in a nutshell, the wax is melted leaving a hollow space in the shape of the sculpture. I then melt some metal (I use lots of my scrap metal here, melt it down and recycle it!) and use the centrifuge to shoot the molten metal into the space where the wax was. 

Here's some video of this process:

This is what the silver looks like right after casting -

freshly cast silver shapes

Once cooled, I clean and finish the individual pieces with hand tools, files, sanding, buffing, polishing.

sprue cut from castings

and more polishing...

cleaned and polished castings

Then I make pieces of jewelry with the casting.

Want to see some of the finished pieces?  Here's a selection currently available.

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