No, not that kind of investment. I mean the super-fine casting powder that can be used when casting lost wax figures that are then melted out in a kiln and metal is poured into the void.

And no, I’m not doing that, either. For one thing, I don’t have a kiln. But investment can also be used in a soldering technique where you put delicate, fiddly pieces of a setting together on some plasticine, then form a barrier around them and pour on a layer of investment. Once the investment, which can take incredibly high temperatures, is bone dry you turn it over, peel off the plasticine, and the jewelry parts remain in the investment and are ready to be soldered together on the bottom.

This has two benefits:

  1. I don’t have to hold my breath while putting together fiddly bits or worry about bumping something out of alignment.
  2. Soldering everything on the bottom keeps the top looking clean and pristine and means a lot less cleanup for me.

I’m going to make up some bracelet links this weekend with this method and see how well it works. I think it’s going to make my job as a silversmith a lot easier.