Favorite Project of the Week: Cast Friendship Ring

Every January I like to start off the New Year setting the intention to try new-to-me techniques when it comes to my crafts. Last year I devoted time to learning more about kumihimo and practicing chain maille weaves I’d never tried before. This year I’m excited to learn more about casting.

If you’re new to metalsmithing, casting is a process by which a mold is created and molten metal is poured into the mold to create a whole piece or component of jewelry. In some cases, having a mold allows you to make several of the same piece. So, if you’re interested in production work, it’s an important skill to have. Many molds start with a wax model. The technique of jewelry casting is often called lost wax casting because the wax model melts away when the mold is created.

Creating wax models to cast is the area I’d like to learn about most. Fred Sias’s Cast Friendship Ring is a great beginner-level casting project. In this project download, Fred walks you step-by-step through the process of creating a simple, but fun, ring from wax wires. Plus you’ll learn great tricks such as a way to make your own wax-welding tool. Once you’ve made the wax model, you have a few choices when it comes to actually casting it. What I found most helpful was the discovery that I don’t need a full casting set up to produce my ring. You can send your cast model out to a commercial shop! Fred also provides information on details you should discuss with the commercial caster to insure your finish product is returned to you just as you’d expect it to be.

To get started with your own Cast Friendship Ring, here’s what you’ll need:

Cast Friendship Ring Download

  • 14 gauge square wax wire
  • 18 gauge round wax wire
  • Wolf Touch-Up Wax
  • 6 or 8 gauge piece of sprue wax, or the sprue may be added by your casting service

MODELMAKING: Alcohol lamp, welding tool made from dental pick, single-edge razor blade
OTHER: Ring mandrel, ceramic tile work surface

-Kerry Bogert
Editorial Director, Books

Expand your metalsmithing skills with new techniques!