I also tend to say when people look at my work (or in the written
descriptions of my work) that “I don’t cast, except when noted”. I
also say, by the way, I don’t use molds or forms, except when noted.
I don’t mean it to be a slam against casting (or molds, or forms),
just that it means that each piece was created from scratch, by
hand, and there is therefore the work involved in doing that. I
mention it because I want people to know that the pieces are totally
unique, created only by hand. I’m certainly not against casting,
though, although I’ve only ever done it a couple times as of this
date. I’m sure I’ll do more, though, over time, although certainly
only on a small scale. I made a piece a few years ago that involved
very detailed enameled beads, As I completed the creation of the
first one (pre-enameling), I realized it was unrealistic for me to
make each one by hand. Not only did I not have the patience to repeat
that process enough times, but the cost of the piece would be too
high because of the time it would take. I made one, then cast the
bead halves & took it from there. There was still plenty of work to
be done! I also made a setting once for a square stone of a standard
size, and my teacher suggested I make a mold of the setting so that
I could use it again in the future without starting all over again.
The original was mine, of my own design, and as I don’t do things in
mass production, I still feel good about it. I think there tends to
be an idea out there that casting means there isn’t much work done by
the artist. This can certainly be the case, of course. One could have
something cast 1,000 times, and even cleaned up, ready to go, then
maybe add a small part & slap their label on it. That’s certainly
what the people are looking down upon. Education is very important
no matter what type of piece your selling, whether or not it’s cast.
I actually have people ask if my Russian Filigree pieces are cast. I
assure them they aren’t, then explain in as much detail as they’d
like all the steps that go into making the pieces. If you make a
piece that people might rightly assume is cast, but is in fact
carved & shaped by hand, make sure they know that, loud & clear!
Don’t let the potential customers assume anything, be proud of the
work that went into the piece. If it was cast, then tell how you
designed & carved the original from wax, then made these few castings
to create this piece, or whatever is appropriate for that piece. If
they still question it, make sure they know the reasons why that was
a good idea- you needed them all the be exactly the same, you needed
to make so many that the cost would be a lot higher if you didn’t
cast them, whatever it is. Make sure they know, too, the work that
still went into the piece, eventhough part of it was cast.
For what clothier did I grow up hearing, “An educated consumer is
our best customer”. Wise words, I do believe!
Designs by Lisa Gallagher