In this workshop, you will learn the basics of (1) wax carving and (2) investment mold-making for lost-wax casting. Participants will use wax carving tools to make a simple 1"x1"x1" sculpture or model with a small hole to attach to a chain. We will then cast an investment mold in preparation for lost wax casting. Creating an investment mold based on your piece is optional. If you’d like to cast your wax sculpture or model in bronze, sign-up for “Jewelry Design, Part 2: Lost-Wax Casting in Bronze.”
Students will make a simple 1"x1"x1" sculpture or model with a small hole to attach to a chain.
Constance Vale is an assistant professor and chair of undergraduate architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. She has previously taught at SCI-Arc and the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a licensed architect and director of the architecture practice Constance Vale Studio and the experimental research office The Factory of Smoke & Mirrors. She undertakes aesthetic and conceptual investigations in the territory between architecture, art, theater, and emerging technology. Vale is the editor and a coauthor of the forthcoming Graham Foundation-supported book, Mute Icons & Other Dichotomies of the Real in Architecture, with Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich. The symposium Decoys and Depictions: Images of the Digital, which Vale led in fall 2019, builds upon this research. She is also collaborating with Dr. Yevgeniy Vorobeychik in Engineering on The Architectural Design of a Testing Platform for Autonomous Driving and recently curated the related Kemper Art Museum Teaching Gallery exhibition The Autonomous Future of Mobility. In addition, she is among the architects recently selected for the international housing competition On Olive, which will result in a commissioned house in St. Louis. In 2015, Vale collaborated with Emmett Zeifman to complete a temporary pavilion in downtown Los Angeles for the experimental opera Hopscotch. Vale’s work has been exhibited at the A+D Museum, The Sheldon, and the Farrell Learning & Teaching Center, and published in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects, the Los Angeles Times, Archinect, and CLOG. Vale earned an MArch from Yale School of Architecture, where she received the Moulton Andrus Award for Excellence in Art and Architecture and two Feldman Nominations, and a BFA from Parsons School of Design. She has practiced at nationally and internationally recognized offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and her hometown of Pittsburgh.
Cross-disciplinary Connections Fashion Design, Architecture, and Art students who are interested in making jewelry–a practice native to all three disciplines–will gain useful skills in this course. Additionally, architects and product designers interested in fabricating metal components will benefit from an understanding of this process and may want to look into wax resin 3D printing with our Formlabs printer. This workshop may interest architecture students interested in making wax models (a model-making technique used by SFS faculty Nanako Umemoto in her acclaimed office Reiser Umemoto.)
Next Steps SFS Wax Carving and Metal Casting Resources: Dryden Wells, Bryce Robinson, Noah Kirby, Constance Vale Related SFS Courses: “Body as Site: Jewelry as Architecture,” Arch 348a, Fall 2021, 1.5 credit workshop, Constance Vale. Many of Noah Kirby’s courses cover larger-scale casting in the foundry.