Beeswax in Asante Castings: The Then, Now and the Way Forward
Keywords:Asante casting, Beeswax, Cement mould, Lost wax casting, Plaster of Paris mould.
AbstractBeeswax used for Asante casting by Krofofrom artisans and the Asantehene gild of metalsmiths in the 1700`s are extracted naturally without further chemical treatment to enhance their workability. Although modelling with this wax is very effective, mass production technique now adopted by local artisans and the inflow of machine made artefacts due to globalization has crippled the sale of locally manufactured artefacts. This research dives into various ways of manipulating the natural beeswax using conventional waxes to help achieve complex and competitive designs suitable for the international feed. Qualitative research design approach was used and the descriptive and experimental research methodologies were employed. A comparative analysis was conducted on the production processes employed in the 1700`s and those practiced by various cultures in Africa and experiment was conducted on beeswax to ascertain a suitable wax formulation for the production of complex shapes and sizes using simple Jewellery technique less employed by local metal artisans for casting. It was found that the addition of various additives to the beeswax improved its workability and also the use of Plaster of Paris in wax modelling should be adapted as used in this research for traditional mass production for maximum yield and less stress.
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