June 29 2015
Recently, a customer bought a Venus necklace for her cousin and wanted me to tell her how I created it, so she could include the story with her gift. After using the same process to create my new line (the Infinity series), I thought I’d share some of my trade secrets here.
Basically, there are two ways my designs come together. If I have a definite idea in mind (e.g., my Silver Petal and Poppy necklaces), I hand forge the pieces using hammers and other tools. However, if I want to create a piece with a more organic shape, I use something called the drip-wax technique.
As the name implies, hot wax is dripped onto cold water to form shapes. But since the process is difficult to control, it can take over 25 attempts before anything with a viable shape forms. As soon as I see something I can work with, the wax is removed from the water. Then, using warmed metal tools, I clean it of any excess debris.
Once I have a desired form, it’s then cast in metal and the resulting piece is cleaned once again before using it to create a mold. From that mold, I can make additional wax copies. Even though the copies are from the same mold, they are not perfect. Therefore, each wax piece has to be inspected and touched up as needed before it is cast.
And thus the process of casting and cleaning is repeated. This is the nature of handcrafted jewelry. No two pieces are exactly alike. However, individually, they will be as beautiful as I can make them.
You can find out more about the process in my previous post (with a lot more pictures), The Process.