the casting process
A completed red wax is where a Kid Jeweler miracle begins.
After we check and prepare the a Kid Jeweler wax, we take it to our caster where our master waxer (really!) Olga attaches it to a wax ‘tree’ in preparation for casting. The Love wax will be cast in the same metal along with all the other pieces on the same tree.
A forest of ready-to-cast wax trees and our Love pendant. These will each be placed inside a metal flask and filled with a special, superfine ceramic slurry called ‘investment’. The filled flask will be left to harden and then spends the night in a kiln where it will become hard and all the wax will melt away. This is where the process gets its name—lost wax casting— as the wax is lost in the process.
Here is the flask filled with investment after baking overnight in a kiln. The caster places the flask into a vacuum casting machine which will help suck the molten metal into the highly detailed voids left behind by the lost wax inside the flask.
An induction oven super-heats a crucible containing the casting metal until it liquefies. It does this amazingly fast.
Once the molten metal is at peak temperature, it is then carefully poured into the flask. The casting machine’s powerful vacuum pulls the liquid metal into the empty voids within the flask.
A just-filled flask. The metal is still molten and glowing. The flask will now be removed from the casting machine to slowly cool.
A half-dozen cooling, different metal-filled flasks. The little one is gold, the rest are silver. When sufficiently cooled, these will be quenched in a barrel of water to break apart the investment ceramic (by heat-shock) which will release the cast metal trees within.
This tree of sterling silver castings has been removed from its ceramic encasing, power cleaned and is now ready for breaking up. See our piece on the top?
The cast sterling silver Love pendant has been clipped off from its tree. The connector piece (the ‘sprue’) is still attached. From here, the pendant will be cleaned, detailed, polished and finished with a chain.
The raw cast Love has its sprue sawn off by hand by Nicole Landaw, Kid Jeweler founder, in her Williamsburg, Brooklyn studio.
Finishing is a multi-step process. The details of the casting are refined, cleaned and ultimately polished and then a chain is added to the piece and completed according to its order. Each piece is unique and requires a different detailing. Here the Love pendant is nearly complete.
This direct-to-metal Kid Jeweler piece is now ready for gifting.
Like all Kid Jeweler pieces, before we sent this off, we high-resolution 3D scanned it so that copies could be made in the future in any metal at any scale. Please read our story on this additional process.