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Thread: Hello I am very new to all of this!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Default Hello I am very new to all of this!

    Hi all

    I have been a collector of bits and bobs of scrap silver over the years, always had an interest in jewellery and, with the arrival of my first child have come to the conclusion I want to make a cast of his hand out of sterling silver.

    All this brought me, in a very roundabout way, to this site which seems to have an excellent knowledge base.

    I'll have a nose around and see if I can find places to start my research into the list of things I would like to achieve in the coming years, but if anyone has any pointers I would gratefully accept them.

    1) The best way of making a cast for a baby's hand (sand, presumably);
    2) The most appropriate melting furnace for a very amateur (at this stage) operation;
    3) A beginners guide to making silver jewellery

    As I say I will nose around, nothing worse than a new person asking all the questions from the FAQ page!

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    South Australia
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    Default

    Hi Chris, welcome to the mad house,
    I do not do a lot of casting so those more au fait with the process may correct me a hand even a baby's hand is going to be a big chunk of silver, the first problem will be making the mould getting him/her be still for around 15-20 mins for the gel to set
    something like Alginate, then you can make a wax cast to use in sand or investment (plaster).
    I strongly suggest that you Google the the process of lost wax casting, also sand casting, so you know what you are in for, it can be fairly costly for just a "one off" although if you really want get into it the cost will be overcome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Central London
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    Thinking about it, I would say the most economical of silver would be to do just the palm, or back of the hand, and fingers as a mould in silicone, which is stable and permanent. Then use electroforming to create a thin shell. Welcome to the forum, Dennis.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Scotland
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    Hi Chris
    I can’t answer any of your casting questions but like Bob my initial,thought was that’s a lot of silver.
    There are many great books on making jeweller6 but I’d suggest a few classes to gain the basics would be really helpful

  5. #5
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    Jul 2009
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    Romsey
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    Definitely alginate for the mould; have a look at life casting kits on EBay for supplies. Apologies if this is suck-egg advice: Do NOT use plaster of Paris for life moulding - the stuff is horrifically exothermic and I know of more than one case where severe burns have been caused.

    Once you've got the mould it shouldn't be too bad to get a wax done - I'd suggest not casting it as a solid as it'll be a huge chunk of metal (with attendant shrinkage issues). Other options include using bronze (or other metal) filled resin or having the wax electroformed to build up a thick layer of metal over the wax.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Oxfordshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    I want to make a cast of his hand out of sterling silver
    I have a cast of my granddaughter's hand and foot in glass and this was done by making an imprint of hand and foot into sand and then the glass artist poured a lump of molten glass onto the imprint. Is this the sort of thing you are looking to do or do you want a complete hand?

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Yes I like it. I watched the glass artist do it the sand that sticks to the class partially melts and the patterns of light are nice.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AmeliaHandFoot.jpg 
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ID:	12428

  9. #9
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    That will be a family heirloom for sure. Dennis.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by alastairduncan View Post
    Yes I like it. I watched the glass artist do it the sand that sticks to the class partially melts and the patterns of light are nice.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AmeliaHandFoot.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	82.8 KB 
ID:	12428
    Lovely having the translucent quality but then Iím really partial to glass

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