Akan Brass Casting

by Raymond Silverman
University of Michigan

Cire perdue (lost-wax) brass casting, Buoyem, Brong Ahafo, Ghana, April 1980. Photo by Raymond Silverman.


The final stage of creating the mold involves bringing the two parts together and sealing them in a final layer of clay. The foa dua (finished mold) is a closed casting system. A tremendous amount of time has been spent creating the wax models and investing them in their clay molds—but the most critical stage of the process involves the melting and pouring of the brass—a process that requires the brasscaster's expertise as well as the supernatural assistance of the spirit of the furnace.