Creating handcrafted jewelry, using the old techniques.
Each piece starts with a blank block of wax. This special jeweler's wax is carved using an alcohol lamp to melt the wax and work with a collection of sharp dental tools and picks that would be fearsome if they were to be used in your mouth. It is a challenge getting the initial shape roughed out but after a few days it starts to resemble the final design and can be finely detailed. Our carvings usually are created in several sessions over the period of a month or so.
Here is the Brotherhood Ring final carving before casting...
After finishing with the carving, the wax original will be cast and made into a master.
To make the master, the original wax, the one carved by hand over months, is assembled standing free on a "tree". This tree is submerged in a gypsum plaster of paris-like solution called "investment" which after poured, hardens around the piece. Then, that hardened plaster, with the original wax embedded in the center, is placed in a kiln, heated to 1250 degrees, and the wax itself, with all that hard work, melts, pours out, then evaporates and burns away. This is the risky part. What remains is a hollow in the plaster exactly the shape of the original carving. That's why this process is called "Lost Wax Casting".
Pouring the Metal
Then, the "burned out" investment plaster has molten gold or silver carefully poured into the hole in the top, while a vacuum source sucks the air out from below, and the molten metal fills the crevice left by the original wax. Then that piece is quenched in cold water and the plaster is washed away. After that, the rough master is trimmed and finished, and the piece is ready to be polished.
Some rough castings.
In order to make more of this particular design, a vulcanized mold of this metal "original" must be made. Then, a softer wax is injected into the mold, making a wax "original" again. Then the above melting and metal pouring process is repeated again. And again, and again!
At our Studio, we also do the polishing, using tumblers, buffing machines, and old fashioned hand power. Next is the finishing process of setting the gemstone in a ring, or antiquing the pendant and the chain. Before packaging, there's a last quality check, a final polish and finish or engrave. Then we seal the jewelry in the velvet gift box and send it on its journey.
We create all our jewelry and designs in house, taking them from casting grain to final product, hand polished, one at a time. Our materials, alloys, and gemstones are of the highest quality from the largest jewelry supplier in the industry.
Proudly made at 5500ft in the San Emigdio Mountains of California, USA.