making the jewellery, a quickie overview
For me, inspiration always starts small, sometimes with nothing more than a vague notion of shape, colour, or pattern. I sketch a lot – on the streetcar, sitting on a park bench, at a bar with a glass of wine; there's a good chance I'm sketching right now. Proof: my moleskine in action↓
The majority of my pieces are made using the lost wax casting technique. And so once I have a solid design planned out on paper, I start carving the wax. It is a subtractive technique - starting with a block of jeweller's wax, I use files and other tools to gradually chip and smooth away, removing layers in order to sculpt and shape.
When the wax model is complete, it is ready for the next step. I do all the casting myself, in my very well-appreciated, well-equipped studio. This involves a big torch, a hot flame, and molten metal, all coming together with centrifugal force – definitely a firebug's dream. Wax becomes metal, and for the uninitiated this is without a doubt the most transformative part of the process.
Once the piece has been cast in metal, I do all of the soldering, polishing, and stone-setting, along with any other final assembly work. This is when all the different parts really come together (hopefully in harmony!) to become a finished piece of jewellery. And tada! that's all there is to it.