There is something about the white glow of a silver pendant, which has captivated our senses for long. But there a lot that goes in to the making of it. Right from the time that it is brought up from the mine, to the time it is sold on the general market.
The designer and client should meet and approve the wax- now is the time for any changes to be made. At this time, any appropriate stones can be placed to give the client an idea of what the finished piece will look like and to check for size, fit etc. Next the wax model is set up in a metal cylinder so that a plaster-like material can be poured over the entire piece. This is then set out to dry. Next comes the oven. This next step is critical- it takes a trained artisan to work the oven so that it heats to the proper temperature over the proper sequence of hours. If this step is not done properly the piece may be badly damaged or need a lot of repair.
Students will create a piece of work choosing their own design either from a pattern, drawing or photograph to transform from a wax model into a sturdy and beautiful bronze artwork. Designs are carved in wax, then centrifugally cast in this non-toxic, beautiful and hard alloy. Students can make a pendant, earrings, charm, small statue or key fob.
From that beginning it was a short jump to adornment. Sometimes charms fulfilled both requirements. They could beautify the wearer and protect him or her at the same time. By the time the Egyptians figured out the technique of lost microfusioni a cera persa, jewelry making had grown into an art form. Charms by then (mostly gold charms) were worn by the wealthy and coveted by the poor. Many of them were representative of the environment around them- scarab beetles, vultures and snakes rated heavily in the jewelry of those ancients.
Working with bronze takes a highly skilled artesian. Bronze can be caste solid, hammered, carved and be created in incised forms. Many of the the classic depictions of bronze sculptures are of wild life, human formations, historic events and time period pieces. There are several different methods of bronze casting.
It is made using different techniques, and can often represent the artist’s unique style. One of the traditional methods is to roll the silver out and then a rough shape, which will become the silver pendant, is cut out.
The burnout step is removing the wax from the mold. Since you want the mold to have a bottom, you leave the bottom of the mold in tact and just expose the ends of the gate channels. When the ceramic mold is placed into a kiln to cure, the wax melts and runs out of the channels, this leaves the inside hollow, ready for the bronze.
Once your custom jewelry is masterfully crafted by an artisan with these and other techniques, the precious metal must be sanded, polished and cleaned. It’s at this point that the jeweler will call you to let you know that your custom piece is ready to be picked up. Now you’re free to marvel at the beauty of your piece knowing how much care and attention to detail were employed in its making. Just don’t forget to give a big thank you to your jeweler.