Art casting is the production of artistic and architectural products, elements by casting from metals. This article is an overview of history and development of art casting. Our store offers you a great selection of art cast designer products including art cast wine, tea and cognac glasses, art cast whisky tumblers, art cast designed shots, art cast skewers and picnic sets, art cast coffee cups, and saucers and lots of wonderful things.
Cast iron art has a rich history and dates back several thousand years. The first bronze sculptures date back to the 3rd millennium BC. Casting of art products is made of cast iron, bronze, silver, brass, tin, copper, and aluminum alloys.
If you review the history of the craft “art casting”, you understand that the craft is one of the first to arise on earth. Bronze sculptures dating back to the 3rd Millennium BC were found in Egypt, to the 2nd Millennium BC – in China. Also, art casting was widely used in Ancient Greece and in Ancient Rome. The peak of art casting from bronze occurred in the XVII-XVIII century in Western Europe, when rich people wanted to perpetuate themselves in statues and epic compositions.
Statues made of expensive metals decorated absolutely all the Royal palaces of Western Europe. With the development of garden and park design in the same palaces, there was a fashion to decorate gardens and parks with such statues.
In Kyivan Rus of the XI century, casting first appeared as a craft. Masters skillfully turned liquid metal into domes for churches, church utensils, bells, and for the military: into cannons, cannonballs, and the first foundations for firearms.
Master of metal casting was considered as a respected person at all times. There was a similar attitude towards blacksmiths. In our time, this industry still exists and is developing taking into account modern technologies, new melting techniques and the use of a variety of metal alloys.
The work begins with the creation of sketches of the future model of the product by designers and artists. The final sketch is presented as a blueprint and a 3D model that is used to make the product. The casting model is used to create an impression in the mold: it sets the required contours.
In manual casting, gypsum, plastic, and wooden models are more often used. Wooden models (beech, alder, linden, pine) are used for making the most complex piece products. The casting model must have a fairly smooth and even surface. To do this, it is covered with two layers of model varnish after the primer and putty.
After the work on the sketch and 3D model of the product is completed, and they are approved, the next stage takes place – the production of the mold, using the product model and various tools and devices, as well as sand (molding) mixture. The process of making a mold (forming) is the most time-consuming and hard.
Molten metal is poured into the mold, which fills the cavity, cools down in it and forms a casting that repeats the shape of the model with its outlines. For casting products such alloys as bronze, brass, etc. are used.
Molds are divided into single-use and reusable. The main component of molding mixes in the manufacture of single forms is quartz sand; clay is used as a binding additive. After the casting is ready, the one-time mold is destroyed.
The mold is made up of two half-forms. They are used to hold the molding mixture when it is compacted. As a rule, forms are filled with a mixture of organic and inorganic materials. With the manual method of forming, small forms are used by weight and size.
At the end of the product forming process, the drafting of the melt preparation for pouring the mold begins. The metal is melted in a melting furnace.
Pure metals are rarely used in art casting. Foundry alloys are black (cast iron and steel) and non-ferrous (from a compound in certain proportions of magnesium, zinc, lead, aluminum, tin, copper and other metals). The most common alloys in the foundry are gray cast iron and various copper alloys. The most famous copper alloys are brass and bronze, which in most cases are used by our foundry masters for the manufacture of products.
Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper, sometimes-some other elements. Brass has a fairly dense structure and is commonly used for making castings with a complex surface.
The most important stage of casting is filling the mold with molten metal. Despite the fact that such filling lasts only 1-2 minutes, the correctness of its execution directly affects the quality characteristics of the finished product. The result of an incorrect fill can be defects such as:
- burned elements;
When casting small brass and bronze products, the molten metal is not cast from the crucible itself, in which it was heated, but with a special device used as a hand bucket or spoon.
The metal that has already been poured into the mold must be allowed to cool down to the required temperature, which may vary depending on the grade of alloy used. The procedure for removing the finished product from the mold depends on whether it is disposable or reusable. In the first case, it is simply broken with a hammer, and the casting is extracted with ticks. Reusable forms, respectively, do not need to be broken: they are simply opened on the surface to be joined and the casting is carefully removed from them.
The newly extracted cast needs to be modified. This modification consists in the fact that the product surface is removed from the bulges and defects formed during the casting process. This operation is performed with various mechanical tools.
The product, which has just been removed from the mold, looks quite unpresentable. A burnt molding mixture may remain on its surface and other surface defects may be detected. The first step in bringing a cast bronze object to its normal state is to clean it. To perform this procedure, metal brushes or grinding machines are used (a wire circle is installed on them as a working body).
Despite the fact that brass and bronze have good fluidity and when casting well fill all the recesses in the mold, it is almost impossible to get a thin pattern on the finished product. To form a similar pattern, such a finishing operation as chase is used. It is performed with a special tool. Depending on the complexity and subtlety of the pattern to be formed on the surface of the cast bronze product, the coining operation may take a different amount of time.
It should be borne in mind that chase is the most creative stage of the casting procedure, and the quality and thoroughness of its execution directly depends on how the product will eventually look. That is why you should approach the implementation of such an operation very responsibly and with maximum accuracy.
Depending on the idea of the master who performs casting from bronze or brass, as well as on the requirements for decoration, the surface of the casting can be covered with artificial patina, gold, silver, a layer of nickel or chrome. Items that have a complex design are often cast not entirely, but in separate parts, which then need to be properly connected. This connection is made with special locks originally provided in the design. In order not to confuse such locks and correctly match their elements with each other, they are often marked.
Polishing is the final step in the manufacture of any metal product. Sparkling and fantastically smooth surfaces are obtained as a result of contact with a rotating soft material, such as felt, leather, fabric or wood, filled with a polishing compound.
At the final stage, the connection of parts of the product into one whole (if, respectively, the product is composite) occurs. The parts are mounted so that the sign on one part of the casting and the corresponding socket completely coincide.
The process of art casting from bronze and brass is completed. The product is ready to be received by the customer and for many years will please more than one generation with its appearance.
Artistic products made of brass will complement any interior, whether it is an office or an apartment, and will be a wonderful gift for any person.
Vacuum casting is a casting process in which liquid metal is filled into the mold cavity in a vacuum. In vacuum casting, the forced filling of the mold with metal is accompanied by the complete removal of gases from it, which makes it possible to obtain thin-walled, dense and high-quality castings.
Our best sellers created in art casting technique:
Coffee cups and saucers made from cast brass and bone china porcelain. Sets are decorated with natural stones, gold & silver plated. Each set is handmade.
Cast brass crystal cognac glass made using a vacuum casting technique. The perfect gift set for a friend or a housewarming party.
Wine glasses and goblets are truly extravagant luxury hand-made piece of artwork. Sets made from Bohemian crystal glasses with gold and silver plating, gemstones decoration.
Designer art cast brass whisky glass holders with crystal glass. Whisky tumblers are grabbing immediate attention due to its breathtaking look. Perfect gift for whisky lovers. Also, you can have a look at whisky stones collection.
Our luxury picnic sets are handy and ready-to-go sets for a refreshing picnic. These sets are fully functional and are made by the best masters. Furthermore, the picnic sets are made from the finest leather with embellished stitched designs and tools with special pockets. Picnic set is a perfect gift for someone who loves the outdoor activity and exploring nature. Other techniques are used such as etching, engraving, art casting, and hand painting that helps to achieve the perfectness of these picnic sets. You also have to definitely check out our designer handmade BBQ skewers which will make your time on fresh air exciting.