My experience of the different steps in the production of jewellery had me observing in the “casting” room this week.
Wow what a fascinating process! The white metal is purchased in large bars or ingots and then melted at 296 degrees Celsius (554 degrees Fahrenheit) until it forms a liquid that I can only describe as being akin to molten lava. (And probably just as hot!)
I was transfixed by the liquid as it was scooped out of the melting pot – it didn’t stick to the ladle but simply ebbed and flowed all about until it was poured down the spout of the casting machine.
Inside this machine is a rubber mould of each particular product. The mould is in two halves which fit together perfectly and leave cavaties where the product will be formed.
The metal itself if left to the elements would set hard in just a few seconds so work has to be done at speed to create the exacting results we are looking for.
Once the hot metal is poured into the mould the casting machine spins it at very high speed spreading the metal into the holes.
It is then left to cool, each half of the mould removed and as if by magic the product appears.
From there they will be delivered to the “barrel hall” to be polished but that is next week’s story!