The Art of Jewelry
Even before the piece of jewelry exists, Priyanka can visualize what it will look like when finished. She first sketches it in an initial line drawing in graphite, then another in gouache to create the subtleties of the shades of the stones, and nuances of the materials. On paper, each color represents one of the precious stones that will adorn the ring.
The traditional lost-wax casting method has been found to be the best for recreating this level of detail that is required. A model is made using computer aided design software (CAD), from which a 3D rubber mold can be made. The craftsmen then place the wax in this mold. The wax mold needs to be perfect- this is the master mold and the final outcome of the finished piece rests on it.
The wax model is sometimes divided into multiple components to ensure movement in the piece as well as to make the piece delicate. These components are then worked on and sculpted separately. The wax mold gets a round of polishing and buffing to remove any excess bits as well as to smooth out the wax before it gets casted.
Lost-Wax Casting to Provisional Assembly
The wax parts are then placed in a mold, and plaster is poured on. After which it gets put in the oven and the wax melts and leaves its imprint on the solidified plaster- This is called lost-wax casting. Molten gold is then poured into the mold that was casted using the plaster. Next, the plaster is dissolved by passing it through a jet of water leaving behind only the gold patterns. The craftsmen then manually pre-polish all the components- refining the texture; polishing the inside; brushing and rubbing the ring until a smooth texture is obtained. For hard to reach area’s they use a method called thread polishing to pre-polish the tiny details, which the wax cannot sculpt because of its fragility. Threads are put in using tweezers and pulled back and forth constantly to polish those hard to reach areas. Each piece gets hand crafted this way.
After the initial buffing the piece goes in for setting where all the diamonds and gemstones are hand- set. The artisans carefully select the best stones to highlight the piece of jewelry they are crafting. They have to re-sort the diamonds and gemstones based on the dimensions of the jewelry. Their final setting is already marked out in the body of the ring, however the gem-setter needs to refine them so that the stones fit perfectly. They adjust the hole to the exact dimensions of the stone, reworking it a number of times. Then the stones are delicately placed in the marked-out space, between the four gold claws called prongs, which then get tightened using a jewelry hammer. The metal gets smoothened and filed to give it a round and finished look. The diamonds adorning the ring are now put into place one by one, using this claw setting technique.
ASSEMBLY, Polishing and Final Checking
After the final polishing the piece is sent in for inspection where it is first looked at by a team to ensure the piece meets or exceeds our standard requirements for quality and comfort. After that it is sent to Priyanka who then inspects the piece to ensure that it looks just as she had imagined.