How I use the casting process to make Eilisain Jewelry by Lisette Fee
I love that the term ‘casting’ in the jewelry-making field can have the same meanings as it does in magical terms.
To ‘cast’ a spell, or to put forth an energy. Casting in jewelry means to form an object from the negative space of a previous object – so you make a mold and fill it with metal. And truly, casting is one of the oldest forms of jewelry making and it does require the magic and beauty of fire!
I believe this is one of the reasons that I was drawn to the process... that and playing with wax. It is so much fun to mold and shape wax and then burn it out in a kiln (another fun part) and have the power of a giant flame to melt metal.
This is the story of my signature Eilisain pieces and how I make them:
It all began with an owl talon... While I was learning about casting in my jewelry and metal studies at East Carolina University, my classmate, who lived on a farm, found a barn owl talon and its wings (the rest of the bird had been eaten.) He gave me the owl talon in exchange for a tagua nut from Panama... the talon was the first object I used to begin my mold making and casting career and I still use talons today as a motif throughout my work.
I create molds of bones, talons, claws, seashells and more. I inject my molds with wax. The beauty of wax is that it can be manipulated. So I can create all sorts of forms using one mold. I can also mold the wax around stones and other pieces to ensure that they hold another object, such as a stone, nut, bone or claw.
Now how cool is that?
I just love it!! It is a lengthy process for sure and there are many steps to ensure success but it is quite rewarding. I hope you enjoyed my post and found it interesting. It’s not often you get to learn the secrets and process of the artist making your jewelry.
Thank you so much for reading!