I was approached by a client to fabricate a fender ornament for his custom motorcycle. He wanted an “alley cat” and by george that’s what I’m going to give him. So here’s some of the process of what goes into a cast aluminum piece:
And first there was clay-and it was good:
After a design sketch is approved, I model the character in polymer clay
Usually I’ll send pictures of the completed sculpt for final approval before mold making commences. Once approved, I used a brush on silicone (for the mold material) along with a plaster mother mold.
I only need two workable casts for the client, but extras are always made..because it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are wax because we are working with the lost wax process of metal casting.
Sprues and vents OH MY:
For the metal to flow into, and the air bubbles out of, we have to attach the sprue and vent system. You would think heating wax to wax would be pretty easy, but gravity tends to be a pest and it always takes longer then you think.
Next up: PART 2- ceramic shells and molten metal!