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Die Casting

Die Casting is a metal casting process that is characterized by forcing molten metal into a mold cavity. Though the conceptual base of the process remains the same, however the concept of creating die differs from region to region. In Indian Handicraft arena, a die is nothing but a prototype of the product which is used multiple times to create replicas out of it. Whereas in many other part of the world die casting handicrafts are made out of steel mold purposefully created about the concept design.

First of all, the artisan is required to create a prototype of the concept item. Depending up on the nature of the concept item and requirement, the prototypes are generally created out of soft bee wax but sometime it could be of wood or clay as well. Once the prototype is ready the same would be inserted inside a mixture of special type of sand, clay and molasses syrup and some more ingredients using a two side frame. The artisan then ensures that the mixture inside the frame has settled and slightly dried as well. Later on the frame is opened up and the prototype would be removed from the mixture ensuring that the hollow space left after removal is intact and exactly similar to the prototype. Then molten metal would be poured in to the hollow area in the frame and allowed to dry up. Once dried, the metal piece would be removed out the mixture and the frame. The mixture then is good to be used again.

The piece so coming out will be of extremely raw and crude finish and the artisan would require working on the finishing aspect by employing threading, scrubbing, buffing, coloring & polishing techniques. After all these (as required) process the product is ready to decorate your house.

The entire process has lots of challenges involved which demands for extreme care and patient observation. The prototype is the first such challenge which should be made picture perfect to make a replica which would look good. Many a time the prototype needs to be cut in pieces before casting as casting full prototype at one single go is not possible. Hence the casting has to take place in multiple pieces and later on each individual pieces would be fabricated together to make the concept item.

The Die Casting technique is quite old in Indian handicraft arena. In India most of the Brass, Aluminum, bronze and mix metal crafts are made out of die casting technique.

Die Casting

Lakshmi Ganesha Deepak
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