Come play with fire this summer! Spend three Wed evenings, July 12,19, & 26, 6:30-9:30 learning everything you need to start doing this fun and fast form of casting.This class is only offered once a year and features, among other things, sand casting, cuttlebone, and tufa stone casting. Gravity Casting is a great way to learn metal casting with out a huge set up like lost wax casting and is a great class to use up any scrap silver you might have laying around.
Gravity Casting is a permanent casting method where metal is heated until it is molten and then poured into a mold. The molds can be made of many materials such as metal, sand, tufa stone, and cuttle bone. In jewelry making the most frequent mold materials are sand casting, tufa stone, and cuttle bone.
Learning to cast isn’t just about making jewelry components. By knowing how to cast you can alloy your own metals; for instance creating sterling silver out of fine silver casting grains or pouring ingots. An ingot is a block of metal typically oblong in shape. Ingots can be rolled out in a rolling mill (creating sheet or wire) or can be forged. Pouring ingots is a great way to use up small bits of metal scrap and shavings getting the most out of your precious metals.
This metal casting technique takes advantage of the properties of a finely porous bone-like internal organ that is shared by all members of the cuttlefish family. Using cuttlefish bone to carve out molds in order to cast is one of the oldest casting methods on record. It creates a very distinct texture that is unique to carving the cuttlefish bone. Cuttlefish bone will wash up on beaches from naturally-deceased animals all over the world. It’s ease in carving and accessibility is probably what led to it being used as a mold material since ancient times.
Tufa Stone Casting
The Spanish coming to New Mexico and Arizona is what brought the tradition of silversmithing to the American South West. They taught the Navajo and Pueblo people how to cast molten silver to create jewelry and other items. The mold material that they used was tufa stone. Tufa stone is a soft and porous volcanic stone that can be found in many parts of the world including the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Tufa stone can be easily carved and withstand high heat making it an excellent mold making material.
Sand casting is a metal casting process where sand is used as the mold material. Jewelers and industry uses the sand casting process and it is the most commonly used method in industrial casting. The basic process is that a pattern is made in the sand and then molten metal is pored into this recess. Once cooled the casting resembles the pattern made in the sand.
Have we got you interested in gravity casting yet? Come check out this class and all classes on the summer schedule at Danaca Design by clicking right HERE!
Summer is here and before you get too busy making vacation plans don’t forget to schedule some summer classes too. Play for a day in a one day “quickie” or spend a whole week in an immersion class. We also have kid jewelry camps too! Here is what is coming up in July but check out our full schedule online here
Featured Classes in July:
Jewelry Summer Camp for Kids 8-12
July 17-21, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-2:00pm,
Class Fee: $300
Looking for a fun and artistic activity for your 3rd-6th grader this summer? Have them come spend a week making jewelry with us. These week long camps teach cool jewelry making techniques such as bead making, creative wire-working, metal texturing, stamping, and basic riveting! No experience necessary and return students welcome.
Total Immersion: Beginning Jewelry Making
July 24-28, Monday-Friday, 10:00-5:00
Class Fee: $595|Basic materials included
Come spend a week taking a jewelry vacation! This class is all three of our beginning series workshops rolled into one. Each day you’ll go home dreaming about what to create the next day. Absolutely no experience needed.
One Day “Quickie” Classes:
Kiln Fire Enameling Basics I
July 8, Saturday, 10:30-5:00pm
Class Fee: $145|Basic materials included
Get a taste for the timeless beauty of colored glass on metal. Students will learn how to properly apply richly colored opaque enamels onto flat and domed sheet metal by both sifting and wet-laying. No experience necessary.
July 9, Sunday 10:00-4:00pm
Class Fee: $95|Basic materials included
Whether you’ve had a soldering class, attempted to learn from a book, or never even tried, if you are looking to learn how to silver-solder or just get better at it, this class is for you. Expect lots of hands-on time at the soldering table and practice with different torches. No experience necessary.
Summer Don’t Miss Classes:
Low Tech Gravity Casting
July 12, 19, 26, Wed Evening, 6:30-9:00pm
Class Fee:$295|Basic materials included
Learn the fundamentals of casting by exploring the ancient technique of pouring molten metal directly into molds carved or formed from sand, soft stone, and other surprising materials. This process does not require any major equipment so it is easily reproduced in a home studio or in your back yard! No experience necessary.
Fantastic Fold Forming!
July 22-23, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-5:00
Class Fee:$265|Basic materials included
Fold forming is an exciting technique wherein sheet metal is manipulated and hammered to create fabulously textured, 3-dimensional, organic forms. This is a quick porcess, so students will have the opportunity to create a variety of basic forms in this quick workshop. All levels.
Bronze Precious Metal Clay Basics
July 29-30, Saturday, 10:00-4:00pm
Class Fee: $95|Materials kit $30 payed to instructor
Striking jewelry can be made easily and inexpensively with Bronze Precious Metal Clay, bronze clay that when fired in a kiln results in pure metal! This workshop will focus on the basics of working with PMC Bronze however students might also explore components for earring and pendants. No experience necessary however intermediate level students encouraged.
WORKSHOP:Toaster Powder Coating with Rachel Shimpock
April 2 &3, Saturday-Sunday, 10:30am-5:00pm
Class Fee: $325, materials included
You may have heard the term “powder coating” metal but do you know what it is? Powder coating is a dry powder that is heated at a low temperature to adhere and form a skin. Usually the powder is a thermoplastic or thermoset polymer that is applied electrostatically.
Many household items are powder coated: appliances, light fixtures, car parts. It is commonly used in industry for its uniform appearance and durability. Though it is also a great way for jewelers to add color and even texture to their work. For production jewelry it is ideal because several pieces can be cured at one time.
Large items like that are powder coated using a spray booth and static charge to get the powder to “stick” to the surface. Though you can also sift the dry powder onto a surface similar to applying enamels.
Once the powder has been applied it can be heated in a toaster oven to cure and flow. Do not use a toaster oven that you also use for food.
Some benefits to powder coated surfaces are:
Once heated and cooled the powder turns into a smooth “skin” like coating that is permanently attached to the surface. Unlike enamel the curing temperatures are low enough that powder coating can be applied to more than just metal. Wood and some organic items can also be powder coated. Anything that can withstand a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit can be powder coated.
Want to register for our Toaster Powder Coating workshop? Call us at 206-524-0916 to register by phone
Danaca Design is located at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105