The goal of lost-wax jewelry wax investment casting is to create wax copies that allow production of articles basically identical to a hand-made original. For anyone unfamiliar with the process, here's a much-simplified explanation:
- Begin with piece of metal jewelry called a model.
- Make a unique rubber mold by covering the metal model with a solid mass of layered, un-vulcanized rubber and subject it to heat and pressure to vulcanize or "cure" the rubber.
- Using a knife, dissect the rubber and remove the original. Unless the mold is removed carefully, the lines where it is cut –called parting lines– may show on the wax model reproductions.
- Inject molten wax in the mold; the finished wax reproduction is used as the template to produce mass numbers of the same article.
- Place the wax template in a flask, encircle with investment (a plaster-like compound that withstands high heat).
- After the investment has settled, the assembly is put in an oven to produce the mold for the jewelry.