Metalwork, for buttons and buckles, is hand cast in England, from solid brass.
Lost-wax brass casting brass requires several stages: once the design is finished and clay or wire models have been tested and adjusted, it is constructed by the master jeweller, in iron, copper, or jewellers’ brass. This must be perfectly accurate, as the finished brass casting will follow this model exactly. Before a mould can be made from the original however, risers have to be added to allow the molten wax to escape- these look like sticks of wax that jut out from all over the original metal piece.
This brass and wax master is covered in a rubber solution, which sets to form a soft mould, which is cut open to remove the master. A series of wax castings are now made in the rubber mould, one for every single button or buckle part.
These waxes are set in plaster, which is hard enough to have molten brass poured into it. The intense heat of the brass melts away the wax, which is ‘lost’. When it has hardened, the final casting has rough edges and large sticks of brass coming out at the risers. This is called sprue, and must be cut off and filed before the finished product can be tumbled in sand to rub off any sharp edges.