In the past owning a piece of jewellery was perceived as a symbol of power and glory, and it was meant for people with a very high social status indeed. Today, thanks to the discovery of new precious material and tools, almost everyone owns a piece of jewellery.

How does the process of jewellery making work?

Artisans make jewellery starting from wax carving as they create a model from a single block of wax. After that, the model is embedded in a metal flask and left to harden, and then the flask is put in an oven at very high temperatures so that all parts of the wax sculpture can burn away. Then, the flask is placed in a cradle in alignment with a crucible where gold will be melted.

Over the years, jewellery making techniques have changed as keystrokes replaced works in wax. In a world of computer aided design, now artisans are able to create original models in a virtual world.

the art of jewellery making

Today, gold and platinum are no longer melted with hand-held torches as technicians are able to control both temperature and atmosphere in casting chambers. After the models are cast, they are cut loose and worked over with battery of abrasive compounds. Once a job that was done with handheld files and emery paper, models are now de-burred with finishing tools driven by hand-held flexible shafts and upright polishing machines.

After the preparation of the jewels is complete, artisans assemble any additional settings, parts or pieces needed. Even if the jeweler’s torch is still the dominant tool for soldering and welding, lasers are becoming more and more popular in modern jewelry making. Thanks to the use of  lasers, our artisans can do precision welding on areas of jewellery where heat has to be controlled. The concentrated focus of lasers enables our designers to weld precious metal in close proximity to sensitive, valuable stones, without ruining or melting the surrounding work.

After the metal work is complete, the precious stones are added to the piece and specialized jewellers who are skilled at the art of stone setting, using hand-held tools to secure diamonds in gold and platinum. The stone setters cut slots into precious metal, allowing them to sit level before they are tightened. The skilled hands of the setters apply just the right amount of pressure to finesse prongs, beads, and walls over delicate stones to ensure that they remain snug in their settings.

The last part of jewellery making process is polishing and finishing. In jewellery polishing, metal is buffed with rotary tools made from bristles, felt, or muslin. Applied in descending stages, from coarse to fine, wheels are charged with different polishing compounds to have the desired luster. Last but not least, finishes are applied to enhance the design of pieces.

Valeria Balsamà

http://jewelrydesigns.com/jewelry/jewelry-making/

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