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50 mushroom pendants


#1

Hello everyone,

I’m wondering if you can help?

I want to produce around 50 mushroom pendants made out of
non-precious metals and decorated with enamel. I have sketched onto
paper designs but that’s as far as I have got. How would you
personally go about this? Would you use a CAD package to produce the
casts? If not, how could the casts be made? Also, because of the
number of pendants needed, ideally I would like a cast/mould that
could be used again and again. Is this possible? Any help or advice
on this would be much appreciated,

Thanks again,
Kat


#2

Do you want them 3-d or flat?

Michelle
tekaandzoe.com


#3
I want to produce around 50 mushroom pendants made out of
non-precious metals and decorated with enamel. 

Well, Kat - first you need to define “non-precious metals” and
"enamel".

How you make your model is of no real importance, ultimately. All
you need is a model to start. I doubt I’d use CAD for something so
simple as a mushroom pendant, but there’s no reason not to, either.

Typically one would use white metal casting for a “no-precious
metal” pendant. Also typically you would pack 50 models into one
mold (in your case, just sell the models…), and your start up
costs would be too high to make money before 3,000 units were sold -
just had this conversation last Friday, in fact. More importantly,
white metal can’t take vitreous enamel, because the melting point is
far too low. You can also cast white metal in a standard lost-wax
flask - burn it out and let the flask get to room temperature after.
Not the best way, but it can be done.

If by enamel you mean “paint” then you can use white metal, but
again your startup costs will be high. You can also cast brass or
bronze just like silver or gold, but you can’t enamel brass, at
least usually. And you can’t cast copper - I’ve done it myself, but
I was good and also lucky. Another option is tool-and-die (punch
press), but again your start-up costs are high (like maybe $1000,
depending) and you need a good run to make money on it.

Those are just some of the options available. If it were me, I’d
probably do a lost-wax casting in white metal (short run) and use
paint ( Ceramit, others…) for the enamel. The biggest problem with
all of this is temperature - white metal (or tin or zinc or any of
them) can’t take vitreous enamel - metals that can have other issues

  • such as that copper is not especially cast-able and brass is not
    especially enamel-able. You need to define your project more closely,
    ulitmately.

I’m speaking mostly from general production knowlege - hopefully
others have some more practical experience on something like
this…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

Hi Kat;

The simplest way to make these would be to cut them out of copper
sheet, preferably with a die. Pure copper takes enamel well, but it
isn’t easy to cast. But metals that cast well tend to perform poorly
as enameling substrates. Depending on your design, you can use
repousse techniques to give them more shape, with stamps, etching,
or engraving to add detail.

Yes, you could use a CAD package to draw the outlines of your
mushroom pendants and a CNC mill to cut them out of sheet. It’s also
possible to add detail to the metal surface this way for a champleve
effect, or to remove material from the inside leaving a raised edge
to contain the enamel. You could also use the CAD/CAM/CNC process to
produce a mold for stamping these out with a hydraulic press. But
casting probably isn’t the way to go if you’re planning on enameling
them.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com