The lost-wax process is a method for creating moulds for metal casting. It is commonly used by artists and sculptors to make moulds for casting metal statues. However, it is also used in many industries, when highly detailed, single-use moulds are required. The process begins with a designer creating a representation of the desired finished article out of wax. Wax is a malleable material and can easily be shaped. Once the final model has been carved, the designer carefully covers it in soft clay, making sure it is pressed firmly into every part of the design. More clay is then added to the model until the covering is suitably thick. The clay is then fired in a kiln, melting the wax, hence the name lost-wax process.
The clay retains the imprint of the wax and can then be filled with molten metal to make a cast of the original design. Once it has cooled, the clay mould is broken open to get the finished metal article.