Fragile Fossil, Part 2 – The Deconstruction
Once I had the skeleton put together in wax the way I wanted it, the next step was to take it apart. I needed pieces of size and shape appropriate for making silicon molds. The molds would not only allow duplicates to be made, but provide insurance for a successful cast. Lost wax casting involves, well, losing the wax, as the name implies. The wax is surrounded in a bed of plaster and melted out leaving a cavity that is then filled with molten silver. Should the silver not fill every nook and cranny due to air bubbles or other complicating factors, your casting is stuffed. By making a mold of the original wax, you have something to fall back on. As long as the mold works properly, you can always make more wax positives from which you can cast the silver. While I learned these techniques early on, I’m happy to outsource these steps now, leave it to the professionals.
After consultation with experienced jeweller Phillip Totton, I took the skeleton apart at the head, pelvis, and separated the spine into two interlocking pieces. The individual parts needed to be small enough to cast properly, but also required makers to ensure it could be reconstructed accurately once in metal form.
The photo below show the skeleton in pieces having been cast in sterling silver. -bc