10/16 Alternative Stone Setting: Gravity Casting For Stone Setting


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Sunday, October 16, 2022 
10:00 am - 2:00 pm PDT

Instructor: Jennifer Stenhouse

All Levels

Zoom link and instructions for joining the call will be emailed 1 day prior to class.

The class supply list is below and contains links to buy the supplies you need.

This class will be recorded, and the recording will be available for students to access through their Little Metal Foxes accounts for a full month after the live class.

Gravity casting covers a series of casting mold materials like cuttlebone, charcoal, sand, stone, water and other easy receptacles that can shape the metal in a direct mold using gravity as you pour the melted metal. These techniques have been used since ancient times as a molds for casting. Popular mold materials often are items found around the artist in there environment. Nowadays most reusable molds are made of a silicone or rubber. But, cuttlebone, sand, stone and charcoal are continued to be used as a mold materials, ingot mold and for creating unique designs in small studios. We will explore ways to use these direct carvable molds specifically to create unique stone settings. Gravity casting is continued to be used because of the ease of the process, availability, and convenience to create metal designs. These mold materials are generally easy to shape resulting in unique opportunities to create amazing stone settings.


Supply List for Students

The links below will take you to RioGrande.com or other suppliers. To see prices for precious metal items, you need a free Rio Grande account. Registered Little Metal Foxes students can access the Rio for Schools program for significant savings (discounts and flat-rate shipping). This site may contain Amazon and other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission on qualifying purchases.

Recommended Tools:

Materials for gravity casting

Potential mold materials

  • Cuttlebones - these can be purchased from bird suppliers and some jewelry suppliers. I get my medium to large bones from Great Companions on line. Most cuttlebones are only able to be used once.
  • Soft charcoal block - There are differs kinds of charcoal blocks. Be sure to use soft charcoals solder blocks for casting. These can generally be used a few times if you are careful. The mold will deteriorate a bit with each use.
  • Tufa
  • Sand Casting supplies - There are a number of ways and kits that will provide you with a frame and sand. We will be focusing on carvable molds. There is a link below to a kit that looks promising if you want to try it out.
  • Metal - Scrap sterling silver from your studio, sterling, or buy an ounce sterling casting grain.

From your local hardware store

  • Thin iron binding wire (20-22g will work best)
  • Dust Mask
  • Coarse sand paper
  • Sand, pumice rocks, solder bricks or clay kitty litter to hold molds securely while casting
  • Carving tools like an X-acto knife or dental tools
  • Borax (20 Mule Team is available from the grocery store near laundry detergent)

Metal and jewelry tools

  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Tweezers
  • File
  • Saw and blades
  • Pointy tools and picks
  • Needle files

Casting tools

  • A simple Casting set - this will give you several tools in one kit
  • Stirring rod, quartz, carbon or graphite
  • Pinch style Crucible, this is my preference.
  • Torch that can metal small amounts of metal - Any of your soldering torches will work. They each have limitations of how much they can melt.
  • Borax - 20 Mule Team Borax can be purchased from the grocery store in the detergent aisle
  • Graphite molds and stirring rod from Amazon
  • If you want to try sand casting, this kit has most of what you need to accomplish it.

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