At last, some decent rain, hasn’t it been wonderful!
Recently, we flew to Sydney to celebrate the wedding of two very special friends, and I had an opportunity to look in some of the city jewellery windows, which I haven’t done for years. Some of the styles made me reflect on the many different styles I have designed over past years as well as the designs I am creating today. Not much has changed, and in particular there seems to be a rebirth of the different textures that can be applied to gold.
This has always been a favourite look of mine throughout the decades – it is jewellery that is enhanced by organic, flowing and textured forms, which showcases the beauty of yellow gold, white gold and pink gold. It is a finish which can also incorporate gemstones. If gems are incorporated, I often suggest a contrast gold colour to enhance the beauty and colour of the gemstones and makes them more obvious.
The process I use to create these styles normally involves hand carving the designed piece of jewellery in jewellers carving wax – it’s similar to a very hard candle wax but with more of a plastic consistency. All the detail of the design is created in this material by carving away the wax using hand held carving tools (similar to woodwork tools) and I vary the look by choosing different widths and shapes of blade – this means the design can incorporate many forms and depths of texture. One advantage of this method is that my customer is able to view the wax model and try it on to check proportions and design before the piece is made in gold. This helps if customers are having trouble imagining what their finished piece of jewellery will look like.
Once the wax model is complete, the casting process is used to transform the wax into precious metal. Simply, the casting process includes:
- a form of plaster is poured over the wax model and a funnel is added
- the plaster and funnel form sets hard
- the form is placed in a kiln and heated which melts the wax away, leaving a cavity
- then molten gold is forced under pressure into the cavity where the wax used to be.
Once the plaster is broken open, magic! The result is a gold piece of jewellery, exactly the same as the original wax model!
Some of the pieces I recently completed using this technique are below:
Thanks and I hope you enjoyed this small selection of styles that show you what is possible to achieve very individual designs using the beauty and texture of gold.
Cheers until next time
I would like to pass on my condolences to Lesley Fraterman as we all celebrate the life of her wonderful man Joe who passed away a few days ago. He will be sadly missed. RIP Joe.
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