I recently sent a few pieces out to be cast for my wholesale line:
These are components and I sent them to a new caster, who I was very happy with, but... they don't finish the work. What does that mean? It means, the castings come back looking like this:
And what that ALSO means, is that I get to spend time cutting off sprues (little piece of metal on back leftover from casting process) and sanding the nubs down, removing any odd remnant from the casting process, and finishing.
In addition I also need to do any soldering to the pieces before finishing, so the process of this all has taken many hours since getting my pieces back.
After the pieces are cleaned up a bit, sprues removed and soldering done, I dunk them in a chemical bath that darkens them. I prefer the oxidized look for my granulated pieces- it brings out the patterning more- you can look at the first photo above and then compare to the ones below and make up your own mind!
After blackening I give them a rinse in water.
I then use my tumbler (mass finishing) to help me finish the job. My 'helper' is amazing.... these green pyramids 'cut' the pieces and the result is an abrasion to the surface- but if you notice, only to what's at the surface.
Which works well for me because I want the granule patterning to stand out! Here they are with a matte finish.
Then they go back in for a shine!
I will be posting more pics of recent pieces to my Facebook page in the coming days and weeks- take a look: