Backdating Mold Making and Casting

The techniques of mold making and casting are nothing new. In fact, they emerged way back in the Neolithic times and gradually developed as the key for making most of the objects we use and enjoy today.

Mold making and casting procedures are used to make most of the things we use – from household goods and decorative items to industrial equipment and structural components. These techniques are especially popular in the world of art and design and are patronized by artists of various genres. They are commonly used for new artworks, art reproductions, sculpture making, ceramic works, garden statuary, candle making, props, masks and the like. The same are also applied for architectural restoration works, prototype tooling, taxidermy, fossil preservation, etc.

Not to mention the beautiful art of life casting. Indeed, life casts have emerged as a magnificent mode of creating a three-dimensional reproduction of the live human body. The regular techniques of making molds and casts are used with appropriate skin-safe materials to make body molds and life casts of the face, hands, feet, belly, torso or even the entire body. These are extremely popular for infants, friends, families, pregnant mothers and more. The same is also used for medical prosthetics, special effects, animatronics, etc.

The synthetic materials like polyurethane resin, latex rubber and silicone rubber may be new additions to the fold, but mold making and casting themselves are not contemporary techniques by a long shot. In fact, they date back to the prehistoric times when settlements were being established and agriculture came into being. The primitives slowly developed these processes to fabricate tools, equipment, jewelry and religious artifacts What’s more, the oldest surviving casting of a copper frog dates back to 3200 BC!

With the passage of time, these techniques were applied for making and reproducing artworks, especially sculptures. The introduction of hollow wax casting was the precursor to the highly prized Greek statues and Roman copies made later.

Clay and plaster continued to be the popular medium of making molds and casts down the ages. Gradually, art schools started teaching mold making and casting and used wood or terracotta also to make the molds. This led to the creation of iconic artworks that remain illustrious till date. Simultaneously, they were used for making pottery and ceramics as well.

These age-old processes finally made their way from the homes of royals, aristocrats and art aficionados to the foundries of today. The advent of industrialization witnessed a quick adoption for the mass production of regular objects in a range of styles. Injection molding was introduced in industries and new materials like plastics and polymers also came into being. Everyday items became inexpensive due to lower costs of production.

These techniques were progressively incorporated into the making of complicated automotive parts, equipment, machinery and even structures.

Indeed, from the simple molds and casts of ancient times to two part molds and cold casting for artworks to highly technical and complex processes in industries - mold making and casting have surely come a long way!