Burning out lace

Has anyone been successful at burning out lace to get a casting?

I have not tried it so far but I would suspect you should be able to
get a clean burnout but perhaps the space would be too narrow for the
metal to flow. I have done a lot of work with seed pods and leaves
and my problem with leaves was to get a clean burnout and good metal
flow into the thin sections of a leaf. My solution was to build up
the thickness of the leaf on the back by welding on thin sheet wax,
Your success would lace would very much depend on the overall design
of the piece that incorporates the lace to ensure burnout and metal
flow. I would also expect that you would need to impregnate the lace
with wax to stiffen, thicken and waterproof it so that it invests
cleanly. Perhaps you could also consider a design that mounts the wax
on a substrate such as wax sheet as of the design.

You need to constantly consider what happens to the pattern during
investment and burnout and how the metal will flow during casting.

I would be interested to hear how it goes


Hi there, Yes, my students have done it many times…They treated it
like an organic substance & coated it with a dip in liquid
paraffin…Sometimes it took several dips to build up light
layers…Make sure you sprue really well–don’t skimp…And make the
main sprue wide enough–think of it like an entry into an elaborate
hallway… And set it up like a regular centrifugal casting (-:

Good luck !!
Anyone want some fog???
Free & all you can want in chilly S.F.
Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan

Now here is a way off the wall technique. Head out to a local
ceramic shop that teaches & fires. Dip the lace in porcelain slip,
carefully squeegee out the excess, dry and fire it. Note that at the
leather hard stage you could form the lace, even drape it over a high
temp wire form. Now you have a solid and can make a mold from it.
Inject with wax and you are on your way.

My mother was a ceramics teacher and they dressed figurines in lace
with this technique.


Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sharon
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc

You have to spray lacquer on lace and wax on the edges to thicken

Yes, have a look at http://www.simonepfister.com.

Anna M Williams

Has anyone been successful at burning out lace to get a casting? 

Someone did it in class recently.

They got their piece of lace, and soaked it in wax, then formed it
over a dome.

They had the piece professionally cast, turned out okay.

I would have used a paper doily, but the fine lace worked fine.

Regards Charles A.

I have very successfully rolled lace onto silver for a wonderful
pattern. Does destroy the lace. Crochet lace makes a stronger
imprint. Check thrift stores for great material.

Go to a .99 cent store and look at plastic doilies or table mats and
try casting, or even better rolling them.

How large a casting are you trying to get, and in what shape?


How large a casting are you trying to get, and in what shape? 

Most of the pieces are small, like the size of quarter or penny. I
have a larger piece that is about 4 inches x 2.

As with much of the casting process burning out and casting lace is
a combination of variables.

Building up with a light wax can solve a couple of these:

-the wax can add thickness to the cross section, the effect of which
is a more easily filled mold cavity: less back pressure. With a thin
cross section, the air in the that part of the mold chamber, while
low in volume, must evacuate quickly (more quickly than a thicker x
sectioned mold chamber which takes relatively longer to fill) ahead
of the molten metal. This can result in non-filled areas

-the wax can also seal the absorbent surface of the lace which could
become water logged during investment or could negatively effect the
mold cavity surface as the lace wicks water form the liquid
investment, leaving a weaker, coarse or even crumbly inner surface.

-the wax can also act as a stiffener, keeping the lace from folding
and flowing as the heavy, wet investment engulfs it.

The negative of using wax, I have found is that it can obscure the
original intricacies of the lace. You can use a fabric stiffener like
Gak (sp?) to stiffen the lace and then spray it with a sealer like
Krylon. This solves the folding and absorbancy issues. But it still
leaves you with a thin x section…

When I used to cast crowns and bridges, I often made copings
(armatures/bases) upon which porcelain would be fired to produce a
life like crown. The thinnest parts of these wax copings were.2mm.
They cast fine. To compensate for the difficulties presented by the
thin sections, I often “blind” vented the mold cavity by adding a
length of wax wire to the wax model. This, when burned out, became a
tube into which air and gases could move from the larger mold
chamber, buying a little time and easing the back pressure.

I would also cast at a bit higher flask temperature, pulling the
flask from the kiln when it was hotter, which allowed the thin
sections more time to fill as the metal remained fluid just a bit
longer. The negative effects of casting at a high flask temp. --and
there are some-- were mostly negated by the relatively low volume and
mass of the casting.

The professional casters out there might find fault with my
reasoning, but this has been my understanding of the process and it
has worked for me in casting crowns and a lot of jewelry.

—one more thing, though… Casting the lace is only one part. You
still have a thin piece of metal. Something to consider.

Take care, Andy

Hi Andrew,

The professional casters out there might find fault with my
reasoning, but this has been my understanding of the process and
it has worked for me in casting crowns and a lot of jewelry. 

If it works for you no one can tell you, you’re wrong.

Regards Charles A.

Hi i was reading each opinion of how to use lace in jewelry making.
i found something on Youtube they have a website called
makeyourownmolds.com the video and website use food grade materials
on a lace applique, (i also found a site that you can create your own
lace from your own designs without an embroidery machine but you’ll
have to e-mail me for that)

the materials used:

1-SEAL-DIT - a food grade coating treatment that coats the lace so
that when you use the silicone the fabric isn’t ruined/saturated
with the rubber. it saves the cloth for future uses.

2-SAFE-D-CLAY - a clay used to imbed and raise the lace fabric after
using the SEAL-DIT so that when you make a mold the intricate
connective mesh areas are saved and visible.

3-SILICONE - PLASTIQUE - expensive yet food grade two different
rubbers when put together and cured a few hours make a very long
lasting mold. some PMC makers use a similar silicone compound which
is less expensive not food grade it is up to the individual i’m just

i can’t wait to get my hands on the stuff. also i’ll be making my
own lace and believe me i’ve got some ideas on clothing and my lace
with matching jewelry. I have a copyright too. so there.


one other thing i have done with precious metal clay. i made
photopolymer plate stamp/molds. I’M 100% sure if you have a lace you
like and scan it onto your computer and using something like
“Photoshop” you can change it in color for transparencies
(Black/white) ---- I like the plastic photopolymer plates as opposed
to metal backed photopolymer plates (Wholelottawhimsy.com)

what this does is if you put a ink jet transparency onto a sandwich
of glass/bubble wrap / and/or thermal photo sensitive film which make
the transparency blacker and more detailed. negative of the design,
and/or a sandwich of glass/ bubble wrap/photopolymer plate —
exposure to a uv light (used for nails) either the image will be
raised or concave. Tutorial so easy on Youtube Wholelottawhimsy.com

("YUDU system) ink jet transparencies or (when your making your
photopolymer plates do it in a semi darkened room) YUDU is a low
cost silkscreening system developed by “Provo-craft” system sold in
“Michaels stores”.

i already made the photopolymer plates (used my PMC) My idea was to
use the SILICONE PLASTIQUE To make molds, for wax and/or use the
photopolymer plate of the LACE and wax melting pen and maybe some
Wolf Wax or there are other waxes to use in the mold - using talc as
a release for the photopolymer plate mold. It’s a double mold one
photopolymer the other silicone.

The food grade materials i would think are good because working with
silver / gold etc… the metal should always remain CLEAN and without
contaminents. also the “Youtube.com” video person states the
silicone molds are used for food, jewelry, and other uses can be
re-used so if you want to make a line of jewelry you’ve got back

even though i’m a novice i hope make a good (helpful) suggestion for
my Ganoksin family.

Sabra Hardy.