~ Captures incredible natural detail and textures, always a feast for the eye to explore. What is a good candidate for casting? Many natural shapes are castable, usually simpler forms are best. It has to be strong enough to withstand the mold making process, small enough to fit into a mold frame, and easy enough to retrieve it from the mold without too many cuts. It's always amazing to see how perfectly molten metal flows through the form of a shell, twisting through it's passageways so naturally.
Most casting forms are made of wax, rather than the actual found object. This ensures a successful burnout process from the plaster mold, as wax is sure to melt out of the plaster mold more easily than the actual found shell, etc. To get there you must make a silicone or rubber mold around the found object. Once it has cured, the object is removed, and molten wax is injected into the rubber mold to create a positive wax model of the object. When the wax has cooled & hardened, a plaster mold is formed around this wax model, the wax is burned out, and finally molten metal is shot into the plaster recess, creating the final piece.
If you have a natural found treasure that you would like to cast into metal, let's make it happen! Some objects I have seen cast: coral, starfish, bumble bee (post mortem), shell, seeds, twigs, leaves, tiny bones, teeth, tiny machine parts... each casting brings new discoveries.