Sand casting is a metal casting process in which sand is used as the mold material. Over 70% of all metal castings are produced by sand casting. It is a process that uses a mold made from either metal, wood, or wax to create a negative impression in a special sand that will be the mold for the molten metal. Once the mold is filled it is then left to cool and solidify. Once cooled the mold can be hit with a hammer or pipe to crack the sand mold and expose the metal. The result can be a marvel look at and the history of this process has a rich history.
The history of sand casting
Sand casting technology dates back almost 5,000 years, and although it is unknown who made the first casting, most historians believe that ancient Mesopotamia made some of the first advancements. This is around 4000-3000 BC, and the oldest casting in existence is believed to be a copper frog around 3200 BC. From pure copper man moved on to bronze castings. It is believed that this was learned by accident that the addition of tin to molten copper could produce a more useful material. Further advancements would make sand casting a preferred method and was used not only to create small objects but industrial objects as well. In 1924, Ford set a record by producing 1 million cars, while in the process consuming 1/3 of the total casting production in the United States.
Sand casting jewelry in Native American culture
Sand casting as a jewelry-making technique used by the Pueblo people date back to the 17th century. These silversmithing techniques came to the new world by the Spanish and taught to the people of Mexico. By the 1850's Natives in the Four Corners area had acquired silverwork from Mexican craftsmen and began trading to acquire the skill.
Sandcasting is a labor of love that takes skill, but more importantly patience. No two sand casts are alike ensuring that each piece of jewelry produced through this process is uniquely your own.