Guided by a sketch, the goldsmith first carves a wax model. That wax model is set inside a steel flask and covered with plaster, leaving an opening, or “funnel”, to reach the wax through the hardened plaster. The flask is then put into a kiln and the wax is “lost” as the heat from the kiln melts it out of the flask, creating a hollow cavity of the desired shape. This creates the mold for the item. The void left behind in the plaster is filled with molten metal (silver, gold or platinum) and the flask is placed in a casting machine. The liquid is allowed to solidify and then broken out of the casting to create the piece.