By Gary Dawson
The torch roars as gold begins to shimmer in the crucible and solid metal slumps into a liquid puddle. With the blur of an accelerating centrifuge, molten metal disappears into the mould cavity. There, nearly instantly and unseen, it is transformed into either a new creation or a porous blob of trouble.”¨
One of the regular occurrences in my shop I try to understand is the lost-wax casting process. Just as casting can inspire a feeling of control and accomplishment (a.k.a. ‘the magic’), it can just as easily provoke a sense of utter frustration (a.k.a. ‘the misery’). The question for many small shop owners is how much of that magic and/or mystery are they willing to tolerate on their own. Is in-house casting worth the price of the investment or are jewellers and designers better off relying on the expertise of subcontractors? If you’re in that situation, here are a few factors you may not yet have encountered.