(See second paragraph for a brief explanation of what I mean by lost wax casting and trees so that you can understand my statement)
I always save the trees and buttons from casting because I think they look so unique and beautiful. I can’t remember the actual object I had created this tree for, but when I finished casting I knew that I had to turn the tree into a jewellery piece one day. I held onto it for a few years, and eventually soldered it to a silver ring that I had cast in a separate casting session. I also soldered a thin wire so that I could attach this dyed quartz bead. I wanted to keep the same finish that you get from casting silver, so after soldering it, I did multiple passes of heat and cleaning to raise the fine silver (which brings copper to the surface, releases it, and allows for this white colour)
Many people have told me it reminds them of a snowy branch with ice and I just found that to be so fitting, given that it is a “tree” from casting.
Lost wax casting explanation:
Basically you create a piece with wax (or any material that can melt- like plastic or some organic objects), put it in a mold (either liquid investment that hardens like a plaster for small pieces of jewellery, or using silica and sand for larger objects), melt your model out of the mold, then pour hot liquid metal into the mold, let it cool, break apart the mold, and you’re left with a metal copy of your wax model.
You have to create a sprueing system (also out of wax) that attaches to your piece in a way that will permit the metal to flow properly so that you don’t end up having only half of your model cast. The sprueing system looks different for every piece, and when you’re doing small scale jewellery casts, they look like little trees. Usually you just save them and melt them down again for your next casts, but I always save them because they’re fun.
Media: Fine Silver, Dyed Quartz