Jewelry Made - the Whole Process Explained
Author: Shelia Foster
Have you ever
wondered as you looked at a piece of gold jewelry just how it it was
made. How did the jeweler start out with raw bulk product and end up
with the finished product. Jewelery is created using many methods but
the most common method is by the lost wax casting method.
It was developed in ancient times and it is still used to this day,
although modern tools are now used.
that is is called lost wax is, because the object that is to be
created is first sculpted out of wax to the exact specifications that
the finished product is going to look like. After the wax sculpture
is completed it is then encased in a silica encasement or in the case
of jewelery it is then encased in plaster. Then after the plaster
encasement has hardened and dried it is put into an oven or kiln.
This will cause the wax to melt and burn out leaving its hollow image
inside of the plaster encasement.
plaster encasement with the hollow shape of the piece of jewelry
is placed into a casting centrifuge which is a device that will use
centrifugal force to drive molten gold down through an opening in the
chunk of plaster where it will fill the hollow spot left by the wax
melting out. After it has cooled the plaster is broken open to reveal
a piece of gold jewelry where the wax sculpture once was.
Its the same
technique that is used to create larger bronze sculptures, only with
bronze it is done on a larger scale and the centrifugal caster isn't
used. The lost wax casting method was what was used to bring
civilization out of the Iron Age and into the Bronze Age. In ancient
times primitive metal smiths would use bees wax to shape objects such
as axes and arrow heads. These was objects were then encased in clay
and placed in the bottom of fire pits to burn off.