Fine Jewelry Casting: A Peek Behind the Curtain

Silver Grain

Silver Grain – the initial form of our metals

We thought it might be interesting to pull back the curtain a bit and show you how small pieces of precious metal become a piece of fine jewelry.

Sorella uses the lost wax casting process to create our jewelry, a method of casting metal which has been around for thousands of years and which creates the finest jewelry.

  • The piece begins with the creation of a CAD (computer-aided design) drawing which is then used to create a 3D wax model of the piece.
  • The model is then covered with investment (a type of plaster) and left to harden.
  • The plaster with the wax in it is then placed in a very hot kiln which melts the wax, leaving an exact negative copy of the wax model … hence “lost wax casting”
  • This hole is filled with melted precious metal (which starts out as “grain” as shown in the photo of silver) and allowed to cool. Once cooled the investment is broken open revealing the raw casting.
  • A jeweler then finishes the piece, which includes polishing, setting gems and engraving.

Below you’ll find in-process photos for two different custom pieces documenting four of the steps in the process:

  1. CAD drawing
  2. Wax model
  3. Raw casting
  4. Finished piece

 

Custom Double Initial Pendant with Diamonds

CAD Drawing

CAD (Computer Aided Design) Drawing

Wax Model

Wax Model

Raw Casting

Raw Casting

Finished Pendant

Finished Pendant

 

Custom Logo Cuff Links

CAD Drawing

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Drawing

Wax Models

Wax Models

Raw Casting

Raw Casting

Finished Cuff Links

Finished Cuff Links

Bespoke.

Bespoke. What a lovely word. It sounds so elegant and classic.

You may have never heard this word before, but it is popping up more and more and its definition and use is being expanded far beyond its original meaning.

Bespoke Tailoring

Fitting of a bespoke jacket

The term “bespoke” originated in London, England in the custom men’s tailoring shops of Savile Row, dating back to the 1800’s. Bespoke defined the complete custom made nature of fine men’s tailoring – all elements (fabric, style, measurements) were selected by the customer and created from scratch for them with no limitations. Savile Row has dressed kings, aristocrats, celebrities and other “fine” gentleman (aka wealthy men), and continues to do so today.

While tailors on Savile Row protest, the term bespoke is now increasingly being used to describe custom industries and products far beyond fine men’s tailoring. There is bespoke furnishingsbicycles, investment advisersbacon. and too many more to list.

We’re obviously fans and participants in the bespoke movement, but we think it’s important to understand and honor the distinction between “made-to-order” and truly “bespoke.”

Let’s use the category of jewelry to demonstrate the difference. All of Sorella’s jewelry is custom “made-to-order.” It doesn’t exist until a customer orders it. We have no inventory at all. If someone orders one of our Roman Numeral rings personalized with their special date, we get to work creating that ring from scratch. But the design for that ring already existed for our customer to choose. It is not bespoke. It is made-to-order and customized.

bespoke diamond engagement ring

Bespoke engagement ring by Sorella

But Sorella does also create true bespoke pieces – completely new designs that are one-of-a-kind creations made to our customer’s specifications. Each piece comes out of a one-on-one collaboration between Sorella and our customer; their vision, our craftsmanship. Bespoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2017 Sorella Partners | Sorella Style is the official blog of Sorella Jewelry Studio, sharing tips & finds from fashion, design, family & the relationships that connect us all.