What Does Casting Mean in Jewelry? - W.R. Metalarts

What Does Casting Mean in Jewelry?

Here at W.R. Metalarts, we are passionate about ensuring that every piece of jewelry tells a unique story of craftsmanship and creativity. Today, we're delving into a fundamental aspect of jewelry making: casting. If you've ever wondered how those intricate designs come to life in metal, you're in the right place. Unlike many jewelers, we do all of our gold and silver casting in-house instead of outsourcing this part of production. The only thing we don’t cast in-house are our platinum pieces. 

So, what exactly is casting in jewelry?

In simple terms, casting is the process of creating a metal object by pouring molten metal into a mold, and allowing it to cool and solidify. Often called “lost wax casting,” this is an ancient technique that still persists today. It's like pouring liquid magic into a shape and watching it transform into something tangible and beautiful.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Crafting the Mold

First, we start with a wax model of your exact ring, whether it's hand-carved in wax or digitally created and 3D printed. We then make a mold around the wax ring, using a plaster-like material called a “casting investment.” Think of the mold as a negative impression of the final piece.This mold then goes into a burnout kiln, melting out the wax to leave a cavity where the ring used to be. 


Step 2: Preparing the Metal

Next comes the exciting part – melting the metal! Our metalsmiths first weigh out the exact amount of metal needed for each ring/mold. We use ethically sourced metals like Fairmined gold and silver, depending on the design and customer preferences. Once melted, the metal reaches its molten state, ready to be poured into the mold.


Step 3: Casting

Once the wax has burned out of the mold and the metal is heated with a torch until liquified, it's time to bring the elements together. The liquid metal is poured carefully into the mold, filling every nook and cranny of the design. This requires precision and skill to ensure the metal flows smoothly and evenly.


Step 4: Cooling and Finishing

After the metal is poured, the mold is quenched (dunked) into a bucket of water. The plaster investment is so hot that it actually boil, causing the mold to disintegrate and helping to remove the metal ring. But we're not done yet! The piece undergoes further refining and finishing touches to achieve the desired look – whether it's polishing, setting stones, or adding texture.


Why do we love casting?

Casting allows us to create intricate and detailed designs that would be nearly impossible to achieve by other means. It's a versatile process that gives us the freedom to explore endless creative possibilities, from delicate filigree to bold statement pieces. It’s also a super ancient technique that has been used to create many treasured jewelry artifacts. 

By doing our casting in-house, we have full control over the quality and integrity of each piece. We take pride in our craftsmanship and attention to detail, ensuring that every piece that leaves our studio meets our high standards and brings joy to its wearer. Our in-house casting process also allows us to have firsthand visibility into the metal being used, ensuring that all materials meet our ethical sourcing standards. 

We see casting as more than just a technique – it's an art form that breathes life into metal and transforms it into wearable art. We hope this glimpse into the casting process has given you a newfound appreciation for the intricate beauty of jewelry making. If you have any questions about the casting process, or how to start a piece of jewelry for yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to email us at studio@wrmetalarts.com - we love chatting about all things jewelry!


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