After this the jewellery pieces are cut from the tree and finished by cleaning and polishing.
Casts can be made from CAD (computer-aided designs) or hand-drawn designs. Where CAD is used, ‘rapid prototyping’ technology can be used to make sample pieces.
Models for casting can also be made in resin, metal or clay. 3D scanning allows the use of almost any physical object as a model for casting.
Casting technicians often work for a jewellery manufacturing company. In a company, they may spend all their time on casting work. In a smaller jewellery company, someone who works as a casting technician may do other jewellery work. They might make or repair pieces of jewellery, using bench jewellery techniques and skills.
An employer may expect you to have other jewellery skills, such as stone setting. If you are involved in all stages of the casting process, from model making to finishing, you need to:
- be creative and good with your hands to produce hand-carved wax models
- have good IT skills to use CAD/CAM
- have some knowledge of metals
- work very accurately, as you are dealing with precious metals
- have high standards of workmanship
There are apprenticeships in casting, leading to a Level 2 qualification. It is possible to go onto an advanced apprenticeship, at Level 3 or 4. You will need good GCSEs, including maths and science subjects, for these apprenticeships.