What is handcarving, and how does it make jewellery look more organic or rustic?
Always making jewellery and filling orders for customers, I am busy at the jewellery bench day in and out. I was trained to make jewellery by hand, and love working in metal that has cast from a wax model. Carving by hand in wax allows me to create more rustic looking, organic, textured effects. Carving can be done for simple precise designs or in a sculptural manner where creative freedom is needed and wax can be melted, added, subtracted to a piece. These designs are usually unique, one-of-a-kind, one-time-use only models to be cast into gold using the lost wax casting method. If you are interested in a design and not sure what method will achieve the look you want, just ask. Chances are if you like rustic, organic, hammer textures or seeing tool marks in your rings, or want to utilize asymmetrical or roughly shaped stones, a hand-carved piece is for you.
Classic wedding bands are something I can make by carving a model out of wax by hand and then casting it into gold. Wax carvings are often blue/green/purple in colour and require a certain trust in my process and expertise as a jeweller to visualize the finished product.
What is enamel?
Vitreous enamel is a powdered glass, applied in several layers and fused to a metal surface in a high temperature environment. Some use a torch, I use an electric furnace which fires at approximately 1500 °F or 800 °C. There are many techniques used to build up enchanting colours, or reveal the metal surfaces below. Believed by some historians to be an ancient alternative to gemstones in jewellery and ornaments, glass has been used for thousands of years to apply rich colour to metal. A difficult technique to master, it is seldom used in modern production jewellery because of its fragility and time consuming processes.
Every enamelled piece of jewellery is unique. Like small sculptures, every piece I craft is made with hand formed copper, silver, or gold sheet metal, encased in traditional vitreous glass enamel. I love using enamel on gold rings with diamonds to give them a modernized art deco feel.