Did you ever wonder how gold jewelry pieces are designed and made? Well, it all begins with a mold, a cast mold to be exact. There are many ways to make a mold for the jewelry piece you will be creating but making a mold out of wax is the easiest to accomplish. It is also the most inexpensive way to do it since you will only need to use materials that you can easily find at home or at your local arts and crafts supply store. This method is more commonly referred to as the lost wax technique and today, you will learn how to make it.
- Melt the wax. The first step in the process will be to secure the wax. Technically, you can use regular candle wax however, if you want to seem like a pro then consider purchasing a block of jeweler’s wax. Once you have the wax in hand, place it inside a can made of metal. Heat up the can over a stove or through a blow torch. The latter is the quickest option. As soon as the wax becomes liquefied, pour the can’s contents into a cup made of Styrofoam. Allow the wax to solidify and cool. Once cooled, tear the Styrofoam away to reveal a solid cup of wax. This process is required to eliminate the air pockets and bubbles of the wax that will be crucial as you proceed with the mold.
- Start carving. With the solid piece of wax in hand, start creating the design for your jewelry onto the wax. This specific design will be the mold you will use to create your jewelry piece.
- Create the actual mold. Once you have completed carving the design of your jewelry onto the wax, it is now time to create the actual mold. To do this, you will need to use Faster Plaster; this is the material to create the actual mold. What you will want to do is to fill another cup made of Styrofoam with the plaster. Insert the wax into the cup. Get a metal wire laced with petroleum jelly and stick it into the back part of the wax. The wire should be long and should have a piece of it sticking out of the cup. This is so that you can pull it out later on. Anyway, once the wax and wire are in the cup, pour another few inches of plaster on top to completely cover the wax. At this point, only the wire will be sticking out. Put the entire cup in a microwave oven and cook it at its highest setting for about 3 to 4 minutes. This will solidify the plaster and melt the wax inside.
- Create the jewelry. After microwaving the mold, take it out and pull out the metal wire. Of course, use a pair of mitts for protection at this point. Once you pull out the wire, turn the mold so that the wax will trickle down from the hole where the wire once was. Make sure that all of the wax leaves the mold. You may need to shake the mold for awhile to ensure nothing is left. Once the mold has been cleared of the wax, allow the actual mold to cool naturally. While cooling, you can now start melting the gold. With the mold cooled, pour the hot and liquid gold into the hole in the mold. Make sure to tap it lightly as you pour to ensure that no air pockets are created.
Allow the gold inside the mold to cool for about an hour before breaking
the mold. As you break the mold, you will find your gold jewelry
perfectly formed and designed to specifications.