Anastasia - lost wax casting February 02 2015, 0 Comments

This week I thought I would share a little information on the lost wax technique which I use to create my Anastasia necklaces. 

This is a really old method of creating sculptures or jewellery. The oldest known examples date from the Chalcolithic period (4500–3500 BCE) making them something like 5,700 years old (Thanks Wikipedia). 

The process involves making an original model from wax or another similar material. A mould is then made around this model from rubber, and the wax is melted out of the mould to make space for the metal which is poured in (the wax model is lost in the process, which explains the name.) A channel needs to be left into the mould for the metal to be poured in my, this leave a tail attached to the casting which is called a sprue.

New castings in sterling silver

Once the casts are taken out of the mould, the sprue needs to be cut off and the surface of the piece cleaned and polished. The image above shows some of my Anastasia charms in sterling silver before they are polished and finished.

I carved the original shapes for these necklaces some years ago, and I'm a little vague now on what exactly inspired me but I do have a fascination with the onion domes on Russian churches, which is why I chose the name.

The really nice thing with these pieces is that they are abstract enough to remind people of different things, Christmas baubles, sweets, seed pods and buds. One particular girl I met at a market told me they reminded her of spinning tops in the markets her father took her to in Istanbul as a child, which is a wonderful image. 

The smallest necklace, number 3 people have sometimes told me reminds them of a heart, making it a perfect valentines gift.

These pieces are made of solid sterling silver, or 9ct gold.