Invention and Tangible Art
The KautzCraft Studio was established in 2009 in Frisco, Texas -- a growing community just north of Dallas.
Producing Inventive Arts and Craft creations has been an avocation for (me) owner Dan Kautz all my life. The avocation designation went away on 3/1/2015, as I entered retirement from my major occupation as an energy conservation engineer and large-scale project construction manager. The KautzCraft Studio now receives my daily attention.
A Cottage Industry
I didn’t think of what I am doing as an industry. Then I decided I should look up the published meaning of cottage industry. Actually it fits what I do exactly. Industry can be any size. Ha!
I am Dan Kautz, the one-person artist/craftsman that takes a design from conception to finish. I like to think my creations contain a small part of the creator as well as being a desired possession.
My studio is currently equipped for low volume production of small lost wax castings and the detailed finishing of my product. KautzCraft is not a high volume production studio.
In lost wax, making the wax master is the primary skill required. There are many more processing and finishing skills but the wax master is the most critical.
Most of my casting is in silver, but the process works with gold and many base metals. There is a list here in the website.
I use hand carving with good success. There is a lot of effort and fun in total hand carving and the results will always have a bit of the hand carved look. This is a good thing, so I hand carve because I want to include a little of that handmade look. There are many techniques for making excellent hand carved wax masters. My original instructor, with a lifetime of wax carving, impressed me from the start with her high quality hand carvings and hot wax built up wax application work for the jewelry industry. Hand carving and its many variations is a good process.
I have developed CAD/CAM machine wax carving. With the computer providing the exact moves, I can produce very detailed and exact wax masters. This is my favored way of wax carving for high detail and precision. It is one method of repeat production within my small studio. The process provides for precise duplication but is very slow for that purpose. Today, dimensional wax machining is a very accepted and the most common commercial practice for producing wax masters. (3D printing is also making inroads.)
I presently have a very small inventory of finished "standard" items available for immediate sale. That is changing. I have just made an investment in new wax injection equipment that will increase my production volume and speed in precision wax duplication. This will create more available inventory and reduce the customer purchase cost of popular items while allowing time for custom design. It permits making multiple small items like charms and small pendants at a reasonable price. I won't spend as much time making duplicates.
As you have read above, my joy is with lost wax carving and casting. However, a a practicing craftsman for over 50 years, I produce many more types of desirable quality items in addition to lost wax silver casting. I have highlighted a few of them at the bottom of this home page. My interests and skills lie within both woodworking and metalcraft and my workshop / studio accommodates many types of material crafting.
This introduction to the Kautzcraft Studio is subtitled Invention and Tangible Art as that is my intention. I “invent” or create uncommon things I find interesting to own or have for the sake of the creation. To me everything I make is a type of artistic expression.
I am open to any process and my methods will change or be augmented as I continue to explore the many options. Three dimensional printing and LASER engraving, as well as other activities can be found ion the Companion Links in the left hand colum of this blog.
Present activity is dominated with investigations of creative processes and fullfilling custom orders. It's a wonderful time.