Thanks very much to everyone for the helpful input on casting! I
have decided to make my own molds, but to not cast for now.
I am facinated by the philosophical end of this conversation. To
date my only influences on this topic have been from The Craft
Report, and from being in the jewelry industry. From the magazine,
I got a very pure idea about handwork/casting – yet in the jewelry
industry (which, I understand, is not the market where I sell) no
one understands when I explain about doing your own hand work. In
fact, one woman in the industry was surprised when I explained to
her she had to actually make the jewelry for a certain design
contest she wanted to enter.
Philosophically…I find this interesting…what are other methods
which are production oriented as is casting? Die-striking perhaps?
I suppose people would say the same thing as they did about
casting, that the piece must have additional work done to it, hand
finished by the artist, etc. This delicate balance we all must
achieve is interesting; how to utilize production techniques enough
to make a living, but not so much that we lose the ability to call
Bruce Baker, at his workshop on booth design, tells a story of
working with his bus. partner to get out a big order. His partner
sighs, and says, “I feel like I work in a factory,” and Bruce
says, “You do work in a factory.”
And what of Thomas Mann? With his production divided into small,
low skill tasks so that employess without art/jewelry background
can complete the work. Yet, he maintains that the difference is
that his work is created in a studio atmosphere, under his
The earlier poster’s analogy to other art forms…sculptors,
prints by painters, etc. are interesting. I suppose that’s what
separates us from the people in the art world – we care who made
it, craftspersonship matters to us. I’m not trying to persuade
anyone of a point of view, I’m interested in the philosophical
aspects, and in discussing these issues with people who have
thought about it alot.