I am a metalsmith and enameler. I am thinking of having the earring shapes with borders and designs (champleve) contract casted (in fine silver) so I can concentrate my time more on the enameling (cloisonne) rather than the base fabrications. There hasn’t been a lot on contract casting on Ganoksin for a decade or two- I am reaching out to find out what others think of the quality and cost of contract casting, hints, suggestions and if anyone has recommendations as to specific contract casting companies.
I guess what are of the world are you in is a first step? I’ve tried a lot of casting firms here in the US and overseas with… some wildly mixed results. Some are brilliant for certain things. Some are bad for thinner or geometric pieces. Some are bad for larger pieces. Some will only work with you if you have a physical storefront you work out of. Etc, etc. But it can vary a lot. Are you going to be casting from wax? From 3D models?
here are two resources that you might want to look into.
i have used both with great success. great people, great companies.
HI Neil, Thanks. I’m in the US but if the quality and pricing warrant it, I would be open to companies outside the US. I was think of supplying an actual fabricated piece for molding, but a CAD design could easily be created and would perhaps be more uniform.
What I was focused on right now were pieces in the size range of about 32H x 20W, slightly domed. Thickness is about 2.5 - 3 mm total, with a detailed relief area (that is the Champleve border and pattern on front) that is about 1mm deep. I am attaching a photo that might give you the idea- the photo shows one with a border but no detail pattern. I do not expect casting to create the silver cloisonne cells for the finer interior design. I would expect to start with 20 to 30 pieces each of 3 of 4 designs.
Nice work Kirk. I can also recommend Daniel @ Race Car Jewelry. He knows his stuff. Can take a one off project to production and do so to any stage you require.
Carrera Casting in NY does decent casting with more solid (less delicate) parts. On the delicate ones, I’ve not gotten a single good cast back. Issues with poor geometry or just missing parts have been a thing. They also do no finishing or sprue removal. Casting House does decent work, but their CAD fees are absolutely mad. I’ve gotten great pricing from Billanti, but have never managed to get them to respond to actual requests to, you know, CAST things.
Best casting I’ve found so FAR here (among the ones I’ve used) is Tiny Desk Customs out in the Pac NW. But have it finished elsewhere. Parts came back with rounded edges and scratches after going through their overly aggressive polishing process. I had to spend a good bit of time working on filing edges in some of my pieces to ensure that it met the shape I actually designed in the first place, which makes it not great for faster production.
The best casting work I’ve had so far has been in Belgium. And occasionally production pieces through FacFox in China (both for wax and metal).
I have also used HighTech Casting, in LA, with great success, on small and thin pieces…ie: a medallion with piercing, thin bezels, wrapped with thin rope wire…thin jumpring bail…small bail attachment thin rope trim, etc
The company that advertises on this site I think they are in Michigan I wrote them a letter detailing what I was searching for and never heard a word
I asked this site if they were still in business they said yes but who knows?
I never say a request for information. You can reach me directly at 2488051009.
It was sent US mail due to no email found
It was a hand written letter requesting your help