Sunday, May 18, 2014

Learning to Clean the Casting for our Brass Mermaid Jewelry

This week I spent Wednesday evening in downtown Los Angeles at the studio, learning how to clean casting.  Since we are producing a line of mermaids using lost wax casting, I wanted to be hands on in the process.  So far I've learned how to make a mold, and how to use the wax injector.  Next I learned what to do once the casting is finished, and the pieces are still attached to the "tree", as you can see below.
First I was given a job at the sink, scrubbing the cast pieces with a wire brush to remove the white gesso.
Although I am smiling, this was pretty hard work, but they eventually came clean.  Next, I took my sore arms over to the workbench, where Eduardo used a jewelry saw to cut each piece off of the "tree".  We then reheated the pieces with the torch to make them easier clean with sandpaper.  Here I am looking very professional with the torch!

After the pieces were sufficiently warmed, it was time to do the sanding, which was in three steps, working my way from the roughest to the finest sandpaper.  This part was very relaxing and meditative to me, and I actually liked it a lot.  I was good at this.  Must have to do with growing up around all those power tools that my dad had!

The entire process from scrubbing the pieces at the sink to using the three types of sandpaper took me about four hours to clean ten pieces.  It gave me great insight into the work that goes into casting!  Here are the ten finished pieces, ready for polishing and inserting the stones.
I was proud of the work that I did and slept like a baby that night.  Stay tuned to see the final project once the piece is wire wrapped with a stone by Eduardo, and then beaded by yours truly to make a beautiful and artistic finished product.

xoxo Linda

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