The lost wax process, cire perdue in French, is an ancient method of casting metals.
It starts with a model, which Obara sculpts in clay. Next the clay is coated with rubber and allowed to harden.
When completely dry, the rubber mold is embedded in plaster, giving it adequate support to maintain its shape.
Once the plaster has hardened, the mold, including the rubber coating and original clay model, is cut apart into two or more pieces, as needed, and the clay removed. The pieces are then keyed, so they lock together and can be secured with straps or rubber bands. Tightly locked, the interior of the mold retains the precise shape of Obara’s original creation.
The finished mold can be used for multiple castings, one at a time. The next step in the lost wax process is casting.