Casting Techniques

Project I

During my last semester at the Cooper Union, I took a casting techniques course which focused on the lost-wax casting process. I gained experience in mold making, obtaining a wax positive (see the wax mug below) from a mold, the investment process, and the actual metal pouring procedure. The first project I made for the course was a bronze hexagonal mug with honeycomb detailing that transforms into an organic root-like surface. I learned that mold making is much harder than it looks (and requires tons of time). I first sculpted the mug out of modeling clay, which in retrospect was not the ideal material for the body of the mug since it never hardens, and I wanted the mug walls to be perfectly hexagonal. When I brushed on rubber then applied a layer of plaster over the clay object, it deformed slightly.

Project II

For the second project I intended to make a series of origami animals cast in bronze. I had a lot of trouble avoiding defects in the metal due to very thin sections extending from thicker folds or sprues. I first folded the figure using paper, then covered it in wax. After attaching the sprue system and encasing the wax figure in jewelry investment, the paper was burned out in the kiln.