Evaluation of bees wax and core materials for traditional lost wax casting

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Cast hollow artefacts produced by Krofofrom metalsmiths are characterised by pinholes in the inner walls. This is due to the presence of cow dung in the core composition made up of charcoal and clay. Various materials were investigated and experimented upon to enhance the working properties of core and wax compositions. This is in order to improve the quality of cast hollow objects and also to use the findings of the research for educational purposes. Qualitative research design (descriptive and experimental) was used to gather data from a sample size of 25 professional craftsmen out of an accessible population of 50 metalsmiths operating at Krofofrom. Additional data was gathered from the experiments conducted. It was found that the application of saw dust and P.O.P in core production ensures easy disintegration of the core after casting and provides smooth inner walls for cast hollow objects. It was also found that there is a complete lack of knowledge on the use of P.O.P moulds for cast hollow patterns as well as the use of lacquer and kerosene as surface preservatives for cast objects. It is recommended that in producing cast hollow artefacts, metalsmiths at Krofofrom should adopt the use of saw dust and P.O.P as used in this research in order to avoid pinholes in the inner walls of cast hollow objects. The technique of using molten wax to produce hollow wax patterns in P.O.P moulds should be employed to ensure direct duplication of the original object without creating parting lines in the inner walls of the model. The application of either metal lacquer or kerosene should be adopted in the finishing of cast articles to protect the surface from tarnishing. Also periodic workshops should be organised for metalsmiths to help improve the production processes as well as the quality of the cast objects.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Fine Arts