Sand Casting Blog

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Sand Casting Blog

After recently completing a Jewellery sand casting workshop and falling in love with this traditional old process I purchased the tools and equipment to set myself up to create. So I thought I would share a bit of information about the process with you. Oh and did you know engine blocks are created from the casting method?

Delft Clay Sand Casting - what is it?

Sand casting, or Delft Clay casting is when a mold or impression is made in the sand or clay (in what's called a flask), and molten metal is then poured into the mold. This process results in one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces and due to the nature of it, the stone placement, texture and finish of each piece will be unique.

What stones can be cast in place?

In the jewellery world, there is a scale of hardness for gemstones, called the MOHS Scale. It is a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hardest) and is a way to help identify minerals, their hardness and relative resistance to scratching. Diamonds rank number 10 on this scale, and sapphires number 9, making them both super strong and scratch resistant, and suitable as gemstones to cast in place.

This means that I can pour the molten metal directly over the stones and they are 'cast into place'. Traditionally, stones are set into the design as one of the final steps, after a piece has been made, but the sand casting process that I use to create my jewellery designs allows for gemstones to be set into the metal instantly, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.  

By using the sand casting method to make jewellery, I can create pieces that are entirely handmade in Australia, from start to finish. I can reduce waste by recycling silver and gold to produce my designs.

Some History:

A basic description for Sand casting is a manufacturing process in which liquid metal is poured into a sand mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. When casting, a liquid material is poured into a mold, which then solidifies to give the desired shape.

The oldest known casting process, sand casting can be traced back to earlier than 1000 B.C. Create a cavity in the shape of the part you want, and pour molten metal into it, and voila you have a piece of art.

  • Step #1) Place Mold Pattern in Sand. ...
  • Step #2) Set Up the Gating System. ...
  • Step #3) Remove the Mold Pattern. ...
  • Step #4) Pour Molten Metal Into Mold Cavity. ...
  • Step #5) Wait for Metal to Cool. ...
  • Step #6) Break Open Mold to Remove the Metal Casting.

The sand casting molding method was first recorded by Vannoccio Biringuccio in his book Pirotechnia [1] published around 1540. The technology of sand casting was adapted to aluminum as soon as the metal was available. Companies, such as cast-iron cook wear producer Wagner Ware, converted some of their sand cast capacity to aluminum beginning in 1894.