What was the process
making this jewelry?
Starting with a blank chunk of wax, I start to carve using an alcohol lamp to heat a collection of dental tools that would be fearsome if they were to be used in your mouth. Over time, (A long time!) the wax takes shape into something resembling the final idea. After achieving the rough state then the piece starts to resemble the final product. I find the hardest thing is getting going on the right track. I also use a computer to carve the wax automatically, from paper and digital designs, when the utmost precision is required.
After I am happy with the carving, we cast the original in our studio, using what is known as a "lost wax" casting process.
The original wax is dropped into a plaster-like solution called "investment" which then dries around my piece. Then, that dried plaster, with the wax embedded in the center, is placed in a kiln, heated up tremendously, and then the wax itself evaporates and burns away, leaving a hollow in the plaster exactly the shape of my original carving. This is a very critical step, as a lot of time has gone into this work- it would be very upsetting if it was ruined.
When cool, the investment plaster has molten gold or silver poured into the hole in the top, which fills the crevice left by the original wax. Then that metal cools, the investment is washed away, the piece is trimmed and finished, and ready to be polished. In order to make more of them, a rubber mold of that metal "original" must now be made. Then, whenever we get an order for a piece, wax is injected into the mold, making a wax "original" again, and the above melting and metal pouring process is repeated again. And again, and again! And that's how we make the jewelry, and how most jewelry is made, from wedding bands to gold pendants.
As the artist, I do the last quality check, a final polish and finish, then I package them up in the velvet gift box, and send it on its journey!