Here you can find out a little about some of the techniques we use in the production of our jewellery
Chasing & Repousse
Chasing and repousse is the art of forming decorative patterns in relief, typically on sheet metal. The word repousse is a french word meaning literally 'to push up' . Typically repousse is the art of forming from the back of the sheet to create height and contour, while chasing is the art of refining the piece from the front of the sheet to create detail and texture. The metal is formed using steel punches of various shapes struck by hammers of various weights to create different texture and shape. The sheet metal is usually anchored in pitch which is a mixture of pine resin, plaster of paris and brick dust, and serves as a surface in which to support the work while it is hammered. The pitch itself is contained in a heavy cast iron bowl, known as a pitch bowl, and is supported on a rubber ring.
Keum Boo is a technique that dates from antiquity, while this is known as a Korean technique, there are examples from many ancient cultures. At its most basic, this technique is the process of permanently bonding 24 carat (pure) gold onto silver or copper alloys. The gold is first hammered or rolled down to a very thin foil, around 0.02mm, it can then be cut to the required shape & size. The silver (in this instance) is repeatably heated, cooled & placed in an acid bath, this creates a layer of fine (pure) silver over the outer surface of the piece (depletion gilding). The gold pieces can then be placed in their final positions. The piece is then heated, & once at the required temperature pressure is applied in the form of burnishing permanently bonding the gold to the silver.
Melting & Casting
Casting precious metals always brings a smile to my face, no other technique brings me closer to that feeling of alchemy or magic, watching as the metal becomes liquid & starts to run & flow. The process of casting at its most simple is the melting of metal & once in a liquid state, pouring the molten metal into a vessel of predetermined shape & then allowing the metal to cool & harden, taking on the shape of that vessel or mold. In jewellery making, the casting of metal is usually performed to either produce a piece of jewellery or to cast an ingot. Ingots are cast to allow the jeweller to produce either sheet metal or wire.
Granulation & Fusing
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