Custom Design Process

Posted on Posted in Custom, Services

Understanding the Custom Design Process

From start to finish, learn the process we take in creating
unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry

Casting......
We use the lost wax casting process. First the wax model is attached to a heavy wax wire called a sprue, which is connected to a rubber base and surrounded by a metal flask and covered with plaster of Paris. Once the plaster hardens, the plaster mold is heated in a kiln to 1350 degrees Fahrenheit. The wax is melted out, leaving a hollow plaster mold. For gold the kiln temperature is lowered to 900 degrees. Molten gold is poured into the plaster mold under vacuum outside of the kiln. The suction of the vacuum helps draw the metal down to fill all open spaces creating an exact copy of the original wax model. The flask is quenched in water to remove the rough casting. At this point it is ready to be cleaned, the surface finished and stones set.

Hand fabricating......
Many of our custom pieces are hand carved or milled from wax, and brought to life in metal through the lost wax casting process. However, if the design lends itself to the process, we will fabricate the piece directly from metal. This involves forging and shaping the metal from sheet, bar stock, wire and raw metal. These pieces are completed by either soldering or laser welding them together, followed by detailing, stone setting, and final polishing.

Finish work......
To complete a well crafted custom designed piece we have the latest professional tools at our disposal. We use microscopes at all of our benches for detail work ensuring it is done right. This also allows us to engrave and set stones with precision. The use of the state-of-the-art LaserStar welder allows us to repair and construct jewelry that otherwise could not be done. Even broken eye glasses otherwise unrepairable can be fixed with the laser.

Appraisals......
All custom, as well as jewelry purchased from the showcases an appraisal is offered free of charge which is done right here in the store. We also provide the service of appraising jewelry not purchased here in the store.

The wax......
To hand carve we use many tools to remove the hard wax revealing the exact form of what will be cast into metal. Some of the tools include files, sandpaper, a variety of blades and sharp dental type hand tools, flex shaft, burs, and wax gloss which removes the fine scratches, leaving a smooth finish. When the design calls for particular details, rows, and groupings of stones which require extreme precision in spacing we utilize the computer. We use the Revo 540C milling system by Gemvision to generate the wax model from the 3-D image created on the computer with the program Matrix also from Gemvision. Once the milled wax is complete and approved by you, it is ready for casting.
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Getting started....
Whether it be here in the store or via email and phone, we would love to work with you on building just the right piece for you. Ideas, sketches, pictures, examples, and jewelry in the showcases are all possible vehicles that help start the process. Drawings of the ideas in conjunction with the stones are done to narrow down the best design for you. From there we either will carve a wax model by hand, use computer-aided design technology to build a model, or hand fabricate the design directly from the precious metal.

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