Casting

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOE RODRIGUES

Casting Specialist With Carla Corporation

 

Can you explain what lost wax casting is?

Lost Wax Casting is the process of creating a style of jewelry from melting down raw materials of either 14KT gold or sterling silver. We inject the melted material into the cavity shape, let it harden, and then expel the surrounding material, which then leaves the shape we need.

How long has lost wax casting been a process at Carla?

We began lost wax casting in 1965 when Carla was first founded. It was in the original factory and moved with us into our new facility.

The process seems to involve a detailed equation for each material.

It does. Each material and number of molds changes the amount of material and time for each process. We’ve taken the process and created a strict formulation to make sure our product is the top standard for lost wax casting. However with every casting process, we do have to alternate our equations depending on that days casting inventory.

Is the process purposely used for certain styles?

We have a variety of styles in our line that are all made different ways; some press, some electroform, some lost wax casting. In my dept. we focus mainly on rings and pendants. These have very intricate settings that need the solidity of lost wax casting.

Where do the raw materials come from?

We retrieve our raw materials from our supplier as well as our refinery. When the raw materials come to the factory, they are inspected, approved, and processed into our inventory.

When you say raw materials, what form does the gold & silver come in?

Our raw materials come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For our press department we use a variety of gold and silver sheets which are used for imprinting shapes. For the casting dept. we use a variety of shapes because they are then melted down, the original style isn’t an factor in the process.

Can you explain the investment powder used in the casting cylinder?

Sure. We first make a wax tree to insert into the cylinder. After the tree is inserted we use a powder substance called, , and mix it with water. This creates a sort of thick batter that is heavily mixed and compressed to make sure all of the air in the mix is expelled. The batter is then injected into canister surrounding the tree, making sure to fill in all of the spaces and details. We let the investment harden and then it goes into our oven for a specific amount of time depending on the finish.