The Lost Wax Ring process, also known as investment casting and in our case ring casting, is as old as history itself, dating back to as far as 6000BC and lasting until the early 19th century when the moulding method took off. It’s a somewhat time consuming process that requires artistic and artisan insight into a seemingly alchemelic procedure. Carving art into wax, melting and mixing molten metals, pouring hot liquid red metals over wax and replacing with a cooling molten metal liquid.. All pretty cool stuff!
The lost wax ring It is achieved simply with positives and negatives. First an artisan worker has to carefully go over the design considering the main key features to be highlighted, working from a spec sheet as well as the artists / designers drawings. A rough shape is then cut from a specially prepared tube of ring wax, they come in different shapes and sizes and it is down to the artist ring maker to decide on which type would be best suited. Every step of the whole process is delicate, but this stage is particularly delicate, as wax is hardly the strongest material in the universe!
When the rough shape is decided on, it’s a ‘simple’ case of doing what artists do, create. Your design is carefully carved into the wax, with particular attention given to the 3D aspect of the design, after all this is what makes lost wax rings so special, their 3D appearance and their hand carved nature. This is probably the most important step, as they say, a design is only as good as its brief!
So now you have your logo, animal head, face, some other design with a 3D appeal or just a regular looking ring all carved and ready to go to the next stage. This is your first positive. Now you need to make a negative of this to then make a positive in metals of your choice.
The wax carving is placed in a specially prepared metal flask, sitting upright and in place with a sprue, which keeps the carving and mould all in one place (very important). A carefully prepared mixture of what we call investment plaster is poured into the metal flask and engulfs the carving, this essentially becomes your negative of your first positive, we shake out any air bubbles which could lead to a weak mould, then we bake the mould overnight in a special electric kiln, this hardens the plaster cast and in the process melts the wax ring away, don’t worry though, this is all part of the process and why we call it a Lost Wax Ring (you kinda lose it).
We are halfway there!
The fun bit now. We now melt metal and become alchemist! This is the scientific part. A metal of your choice is melted down onto the crucible. When we are happy with the liquidity of the metal, we let our spring loaded centrifugal caster to the hard part, forcing the liquid metals into the flask, and inside our now hardened plaster cast, which is the negative of your design. After a few fun spins of the centrifugal caster, we carefully take the flask and submerge in water to cool and harden. We pull the plaster away and all that remains is a positive of your design.
The final stage is filing, polishing and finishing your rings. Each one is hand finished and cared for, unique you might say!
We have over 20 plating options to choose from, but usually antique gold, nickel or copper are by far the most popular. If you are wanting them presented in some way then please let us know how. We can cater for any job no matter how specific. If you have any questions then please get in touch or visit the lost wax ring page more info and inquiry form.