Pattern Making

The following examples demonstrate how Lost Art, working together with our pattern maker and foundry have progressed through the pattern making process to casting and completion of a variety of projects. This is only a small selection of the large number of projects that we could have chosen, and further examples are available if so required.

In recent years, Lost Art Limited has developed a considerable degree of expertise in development and restoration work involving the production, preparation and installation of high quality castings in iron. Although to some extent this is a reflection of the skills of the workers at our partner foundry, much of the credit has to go to Martyn Jolley, Lost Art Limited’s patternmaker of choice.

The efforts of the pattern maker underlie the work of the foundry and the castings produced are a reflection first and foremost of the quality of the patterns provided. If these are of insufficient quality then the mould produced at the foundry are not precise enough for the castings to be produced cleanly and featuring the amount of detail that the much of our work requires.

The patternmaker produces template models, which are used to create moulds for casting metal in foundries. These are made from a variety of materials, but typically are produced in wood or resin.

The process of producing a pattern involves a number of steps, these include;

  • planning the best way to make a pattern creating a prototype pattern using hand tools such as chisels and files and workshop tools such as lathes and drills.
  • liaising with the foundry in order to make a sample casting, using the prototype to check it meets customer requirements
  • modifying the pattern (if necessary) to remove any imperfections
  • producing a finished pattern ready for the foundry moulders to make castings

A degree of both manual and mathematical precision are required to produce a clean, accurate pattern and to set tolerance levels to take account of molten metal shrinking as it cools during the casting process.

A good pattern maker will possess a number of attributes including;

  • the ability to work to a high level of accuracy
  • steady hand for delicate work
  • the ability to follow engineering plans
  • an understanding of casting processes and properties of metals
  • good communication skills
  • strong maths skills
  • good interpersonal skills in order to problem solve with both client and foundry
  • a methodical approach to work
  • an awareness of health and safety