A few weeks ago in our Intermediate Wax Carving class we were lucky enough to get a visit from Daniel Baez, the owner of Taba Casting in the Jewelry District.
Daniel gave our students a lesson in mold making- the practice of using a model to create negative space within a rubber form. Molds are essentially what makes the jewelry production world go ’round. Knowing how the process works is essential to anyone interested in producing their pieces on a large scale.
Molds can be made from any number of things- anywhere from a finished piece of metal jewelry, to natural forms like tree bark or animal bones. Basically anything than can withstand the heat of melted rubber can be used to make a mold.
In order to create a rubber mold, the model is covered in layers of raw rubber and placed inside a vulcanization machine. This machine heats the rubber up to 375 degrees and melts the layers around the model to create a solid mold. Once the rubber is melted around the model, it is cut open to reveal the negative space inside, which is an exact replica of the original piece. Here Daniel cuts open a silicon mold.
After the mold is cut, a special type of wax is injected into the mold to create a wax version of the original model. This process can be repeated over and over to create any number of wax models which are then cast into metal to create multiples.
There are so many kinds of molds! Interested in learning more about mold making creating multiples of your pieces? Check out our upcoming Mold Making workshop on August 10th and 11th!