Making a Maserpiece - Heads or Tales Coins & Collectibles

Making a Maserpiece

The creation of each of our stunning masterpieces is not as simple as just pouring molten silver into a mold. In fact, it is a long journey from concept to final cast, often requiring months of painstaking work. Our Thailand workshop bustles with activity as our team of designers and artisans combine their expertise to make our solid silver statues.

Inspired by epic stories

The first step of our journey to making a masterpiece is developing an idea. We believe that the best and most expressive statues are inspired by epic stories, bringing to life iconic moments and characters from myth and legend, history and culture. Each of our solid silver statues is born from creative inspiration and captures the spirit of its subject in extraordinary detail. But how do we get from the stories that inspire us to a precious, hand crafted heirloom that will stand proudly in your display cabinet or on your desk?

3D design process

Our designers handle the next stage silver statue production process. The highly talented team includes the world's finest 3D sculptors and award-winning digital artists, whose work is often featured on the covers of renowned trade publications.

Taking our idea from the drawing board, the designers use the latest technology to build an on-screen 3D model of our concept. The advanced technical knowledge and artistic skill needed to create the digital figure is astonishing. Hours of precise, detail-focused work are required to get every feature exactly right.

3D printing the digital model

Only when we are satisfied with the 3D model of the statue will we move onto the next stage, which is 3D printing. We use a state of the art 3D printer and high resolution resin to bring shape and dimension to the figure. At the end of the printing process, we can hold our first version of the statue in our hands. While impressive, there is still a long way to go before we see the glorious finished results in solid silver.

Making the mold

The 3D plastic model is thoroughly cleaned in an ultrasonic corn oil bath, then immersed in liquid silicone. As the silicone cools, it solidifies around the model to form a mold. Our craftspeople then painstakingly remove the 3D model, taking extreme care not to damage the silicone mold. This task requires surgical precision as the process is so sensitive that even a misplaced fingerprint in the silicone rubber will show up as a flaw on the final cast.

Crafting the wax master

The resulting silicone mold is fitted with ventilation holes, then filled with wax to make the wax master. For each and every collectible statue we produce, we need a wax master to cast it from. The team uses a computer controlled wax injection system and high temperature wax, which sets to create a duplicate of the original 3D plastic statue.

This stage of the process is time-consuming and can be frustrating. Even our most highly skilled craftspeople find that for every three wax figures they make, only one will be of high enough quality to cast. Any errors in the wax master will be visible in the final solid silver statue.  Additional details and embellishments are hand-carved into each and every wax master, often requiring hours of work by hand to ensure the most detail from the original artists model makes it into the final cast. As you can imagine, even for a limited production of statues, it can take many hours for our team to assemble enough wax masters.

 

Casting the silver statue

With the wax master prepared, we move closer to seeing what our statue will look like at the end of the process. Using the same lost-wax method perfected through centuries of trial and error,  the wax master is meticulously attached to a casting tree, designed to ensure that molten silver reaches all areas of the mold. This ensures that every contour is filled, and every minute detail can be appreciated in the finished work. The workers form the appropriate alloy for the statue by heating a blend of .999 silver, copper, nickel and other metals, a process which requires a temperature of nearly 1000 degrees Celsius. Exact quantities are dependent on the size, proportions and characteristics of the individual statue.

Finishing the statue

After casting is complete, we now can see our silver statue close to its final majestic form. However, it will not be ready for delivery to its new owner until it has been through a hand-finishing process.

Our craftspeople complete the statue by cleaning up any rough edges left from the casting process and polishing it to reveal its bright, lustrous sheen. Each statue is thoroughly inspected to ensure that it meets our strict standards of quality. Once satisfied that the piece is perfect, the team laser-engrave it with its production number, weight and the purity of the silver. The final step is placing the statue in a collector's presentation box, complete with its certificate of authenticity, ready for speedy delivery.