Melt, Shock and Awe

So Litaker’s Jewelers invited us to see the actual casting of a medallion – which was the wax carving that last week we saw encased in “investment” or fancy plaster.  While we were gone, the investment hardened and then was placed into an oven where the wax melted out.

We arrived back on the scene to a heating vacuum vulcanizing machine and the crucible warming in an oven.

The "Glory Hole" began to glow deep red.

The silver ingots were poured into the melting chamber.

The silver began to glow and then it just puddled to the yellow molten mass.

The crucible is taken from the kiln and placed into its holding chamber under the silver.

The vacuum pump was turned on and the temperature allowed to stabilize; then the silver was released into the mold.

The vacuum pressure is released after a few seconds.

The crucible is then removed and plunged into a bucket of cold water. Almost immediately the mold dissolves.

A first look at the piece.

The detail begins to emerge after a good scrubbing.

After a few dunks in an acid bath and then being blasted by quick bursts of steam, the piece is deemed ready to work with.

The final piece ready for the gems.

The cylinder's compartments have the crushed stones that will be placed into the petals of the flower. The "tree" will be cut off and a chain holder will be affixed.

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Filed under Art, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, Writing

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