Artwork in progress
From the drawing to the form it often takes weeks of highest creative and artwork. Detail and quality has its origin here. Only when the form is 100% perfect, a quality cast – as we understand – is possible.
At the beginning of each development there is a sketch. Based on this drawing, the final decision will be made in form and subject.
With the next step, the desired motif is modeled with plasticine and casted in resin. Thereafter, the engraving is transferred from the plastic casting into the steel mold.
The final mold is made from high quality tool steel and consists of at least two parts. In these parts, the relief scene is engraved negatively.
Before the first cast, the molds are coated with a so-called “die coating” that prevents that the liquid pewter is bonded to the molding material and the casting is destroyed when opening the mold. The mold is prepared for casting, it is heated to prevent the liquid metal solidifies too quickly. In a crucible there is the liquid alloy. The caster, after careful stirring with a ladle, is pouring it into the mold. The experience and skill of the craftsman is the guarantee for the quality of the finished casting. The caster must know how fast he must pour in a particular form in order to achieve an optimal filling of the mold down to the smallest ornaments inside. On the other hand, he also needs to know how fast it is possible to cool down the mold. Now it is opened and the part removed. The raw casting is finished.
Another way of production is the centrifugal casting. The process is almost identical with the honey extraction. The molds are mounted in a centrifuge having a central filler-pipe. When the centrifuge has reached full speed, the liquid pewter is filled in and distributed by centrifugal force very rapidly in all cavities of the rubber mold. Today, pewter figurines, handles, small parts, applications and also fashion jewelry are made with this method.
The die casting method is one of the most interesting new developments in the casting of pewter. The pewter ingots are put into the crucible furnace, which is mounted to the die casting machine. Once the pewter melt has reached a temperature of approximately 280 ° C, the raw material is pourable. First, the built-in the machine mold parts are closed. Thereafter, the liquid pewter is forced into the mold at a very high pressure. After a short cooling down period, assisted by cold water, the mold opens and the casted part can be seen. The great advantage of die casting is not only an economic production but especially the very fine reproduction of the engraving.
The final touch
After the cast there is a milling process to get a perfect and clean surface. We use copy lathe or the latest CNC lathes. The casting thus reaches its final weight and appearance. Handles and lids are now soldered still by hand. Followed by the polish that makes the reliefs very incisive. Brushes, plastic discs, Scotch and liquid polish form now a unique masterpiece.
Environmentally friendly and high-quality gift-packaging is an important part of ARTINA pewter ware. Whether renewable resources (wood) for the Artina typical wooden boxes or recycled papers for attractive gift packages – the ARTINA-masterpiece has always a exceptional case.