I guess I’m going to wade into this one…
I suppose that if you wanted to compare the technical superiority of
fabrication over casting, you could do so. Using test equipment, you
could determine that fabricated metal might be denser and stronger
than cast metal, but that distinction is not always so important to
the finished result.
As Andy Cooperman just wrote, casting, as well as any other means of
creating jewelry, should serve as one more valuable technique in our
ever-evolving vocabulary as metalsmiths.
We all have our preferences as to what techniques we find the most
valuable, and how jewelry should look, in our own opinion.
If we have an idea of what we would like to see envisioned
3-dimensionally, we hopefully have the skills we need to achieve that
goal. If we need more skills to build what we design, then we try to
learn those skills, and practice, practice, practice. That is why we
hunger to know what others in our field are doing, and how they are
doing it. We attend conferences and workshops, and buy books about
Guiding students to create a finished product of their own design,
using their own hands, decisions need to be made on the best methods
to help them realistically achieve their goals.
Sometimes a design calls for fabrication, and they can create their
own sheet and wire stock in our studio for that purpose.
If the design just cannot realistically be created by fabricating,
then casting, or other methods are employed to get the best result. I
have a student who was formerly a concept car designer with a
Detroit car company. Her work is so evolved and complicated in the
forms she designs, I just can’t conceive of how her complicated
curvilinear designs could be achieved any other way than by carving
wax components and casting them, and later soldering them together.
I never feel as though fabrication might be “better” than casting,
just that one or the other( or a combination of techniques ) might be
better for this one particular project…