Jewellery Making: A Behind the Scenes Tour!
It’s official….we make beautiful handmade jewellery!
But how does it actually all happen?
We are thrilled to be able to share some behind the scenes photos with you and to give you an insight and a deeper understanding into the processes and work put into our stunning jewels!
The story begins here in London, where I brief new ideas and designs which might be inspired by my travels, vintage treasures I have found or very often the world around me! These designs are then sent to the factories where they then translate each design into a CAD (Computer Aided Design).
The CAD enables us to see how the design looks in 3D and from this I can make any tweaks that I feel are necessary at this stage. Once I have made any amendments and the CAD is approved it is then printed on a 3D printer.
Using this 3D print out they make a “master” out of metal. This “master” is then pushed into rubber to create a mould. The mould is then used with a machine that shoots hot wax into it over and over again creating hundreds of wax versions of our rings, pendants or earrings! They can then make a “tree” with all of the same wax moulds on it!
Next stop is the casting process. The wax “tree” which could have up to 30 pieces of the same ring or pendant attached to it is then put into a container and covered with plaster of Paris. The container is then burnt in a furnace over 8 hours until the wax melts, leaving vacant ring shaped spaces in its place! The container is then placed into a casting machine and the metal (in our case Sterling silver) is poured in and heated up. Next the container is then put into water and the plaster of Paris breaks off to reveal a tree of Sterling silver trees! Its like magic!
Each individual piece is then cut off the “tree” and the filing process begins to remove any excess metal. The pieces are put into a tumbling machine (basically like a mini tumble dryer!) to ensure they are completely smooth.
Next step is of course my favourite….the gemstone setting! Before setting every stone is meticulously checked for quality and any that do not meet our high quality standards are removed. Each stone is then set individually by hand which takes a lot of time and tremendous skill, just one of the reasons why each of our handmade pieces is so special!
Once the stones have been set, each piece is polished individually in a small machine to ensure that they are perfectly smooth before plating.
Finally, its time to plate our pieces with 14k Gold. Preparation for plating involves first putting the rings through a very thorough process of surface cleaning to ensure that they are as clean as possible, creating the required base for high quality plating. The smoother and cleaner the metal surface the better the plating!
Once prepared, the pieces are then dipped into a tank which contains a solution of 14k gold powder and chemicals. The pieces are dipped in for a specific period of time to ensure the required thickness and consistency of the gold plating.
Once plated they are then put into an oven for a fixed amount of time to ensure that they are completely dry. Once out of the oven every piece goes for a final quality check before being carefully packed and flown to the UK!
And voila...the finished product!