This is the first in a series of articles for those of you who want to know a bit more about basic metal work, sometimes called fabrication. This is not complicated, no lost wax casting, bezel setting or soldering, just simple metal fabrication; but you can do a lot with simple techniques.
Jewelry designs don’t come when you summon them. They pop into your head when you’re driving down the street, or talking on the phone. Ideas come in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning when you wake up. So carry a little book, a design diary, to capture your ideas when they come to you. A quick sketch will do. Your diary doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a simple little notebook small enough to carry wherever you go. With a design diary, when you sit down to work, you will always have ideas.
Is a hand made piece unique? Not necessarily. The jeweller might have a cast piece which he is copying. I am often asked to copy a grandmother’s piece of jewellery so that it can be given to a second daughter.
Lost Foam Casting is a form of Investment Casting much like Lost microfusione acciaio. The key material of Lost Foam Casting is of course foam which is not used in other metal casting methods. The use of foam has many benefits to the artisan like ease of use and shaping and the relative inexpensive cost of the material. Each casting is going to be one of a kind since the original casting of foam is lost during the process.
Since ancient time artists have employed different techniques to make bronze figures, animals, candlesticks and other pieces of art. Bronze casting is highly skilled work, requiring vast knowledge about design, metallurgy, and casting techniques.
I have taught many jewelry students basic sawing techniques and dealt with many colorful excuses why they should not attempt to learn the new skill: ‘I don’t want to,” I might cut myself,’ ‘I’m too old,’ ‘I might inhale metal dust.’ I respect each and every excuse and realize metalwork is not for everyone. There may be lots of valid excuses, but there are just as many more reasons to learn the skill, refine the techniques, and show the world what you can do.
And did our ancestors have pockets? I suspect that was a later invention. Without a handy place to slip a special shell or stone into, it was necessary to tie it to one’s body. Perhaps this is what led to drilling holes in objects. That would certainly make it easier to carry them around.
Find a rhythm-You may have noticed how every creative thing you do has a rhythm, the way you coil the wire, they way you hammer. The way you crochet or knit. Like dancing. When you saw, find a smooth, even rhythm, and your cutting will go much more smoothly.