How Lost-Wax Casting Has Transformed the Artistic Industry

Lost wax casting is the method by which a replica metal piece is cast from an authentic, previously created sculpture. This method can achieve very intricate details in sculptures that are impossible to achieve using other processes. The possibilities are endless when using lost wax casting methods.


the second half of the nineteenth century

During the 19th century, this technique was discovered in the African continent. The earliest known use of lost-wax casting can be dated back to the second half of the nineteenth century. In this era, the oldest known example of lost-wax casting was made during a meeting between the local blacksmiths of Lagos and Aba Emagiri, who were making some textile reliefs. The email was making some wire masks for jute thread to make bags.

a three-dimensional bead

Two bowls were made by combining clay shells with water and pouring molten wax into them. The first candle was poured onto the top of the bowl, while the bottom was left as it was. This was allowed to solidify on top of the heated clay. After a few hours, the top of the bowl was removed and the wax was allowed to solidify on the bottom. The result was a three-dimensional bead, which is a great improvement over most common candle forms.


3D imagery has become more popular

This discovery made the journey to Europe much easier for African craftsmen. However, during the Victorian era, lost-wax casting became associated with the rise of mechanized industries. Automation did nothing to stop the creative potential of African craftspersons. Instead of stopping at the standard candle shape, they invented new shapes, such as flowers or animals. In the past couple of decades, 3D imagery has become more popular. This is also associated with the new forms of sculpture and jewelry.


the rise of digital technologies

It has become much easier to capture an image or pattern. The lost-wax casting patterns can now be rendered on a computer, which simplifies the production process. Several software programs were designed specifically for this purpose. The most common applications are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Corel Draw, and InDesign.


digital design software tools are necessary for finishing details

Once the manufacturing process is complete, digital design software tools are necessary for finishing details. Most software tools for this process are designed to be easy to use and understand. The most popular software tools include CorelDraw, Paint Shop Pro, Microsoft Design Object, and Paint Shop Live. By using these software tools, the lost-wax casting artists can easily capture, color, and perfect their artwork.

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