Lost Wax Method

In the lost wax method, each piece starts out as a wax sculpture. This is called the positive form. The sculpture or positive form is then cast into a refractory aggregate. This refractory aggregate is made using gypsum plaster, which is plaster of Paris or silica flour. They call this process investing.

The wax is then melted or steamed out of the mold, which then forms a cavity of the original form. This cavity is now filled with glass and fused. Once the glass has cooled the plaster is scraped away revealing the glass form.

lost wax method, wax sculpture, plaster of Paris, silica

The first step is to make the wax model. There are many different ways to make the positive was form. It can be modeled or carved out of just about any type of moldable wax, even beeswax. Since the wax is so easy to work with even household items can be used to add details and depth to the piece.

Once the wax model has been made it is encased with plaster or some other refractory aggregate to make the mold. The wax is then melted out leaving the new form out of plaster. Once the wax has been released, the mold needs to be processed and fired to cure the piece. It is now ready to receive and mold the glass.

Fill the piece with frit or the desired glass and fire the piece. As the hot glass gets molten inside the kiln, it will then take on the shape and design of the mold. Anneal and cool depending on the size and shape of the finished product.

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