Showing posts with label Lost Wax Process. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lost Wax Process. Show all posts

Friday, November 22, 2019

Lost Wax Artist

I am a
Lost Wax Artist

It's not an impressive title to have but once you understand the 
process you will understand a bit better why I am called a lost wax artist
and I am so proud of it.

Lost Wax Process:

The intricate lost wax process has a rich history in our world. Also known in French as cire perdue. It is a process that allows me to hand sculpt a wax model and cast it into a unique piece of jewelry. Each cast piece is solid silver, gold or platinum once my wax model is melted out of the investment. Investment is a finer type of plaster used by jewelers and is poured around my wax model. Once the investment is dried and then heated, my wax models disappears or known as being burned out and is replaced with melted gold.

My leaf model piece above is a one-of-a-kind hand sculpted wax model that will be cast in 14k gold. Each wax model is hand sculpted to fit our rough uncut diamonds or our hand cut gemstones. We do not mass produce our jewelry, in fact because they are hand sculpted, we choose to only cast a few at a time.

I have tried many different mediums, such as clay, ArtClay, etc.. until 16 years ago, I found jewelers wax which allowed me to get details I was wanting in each piece. With different tools I was able to give my leaves, twig and vines the look I was wanting.

Once in a while I will make a rubber or silicone two-piece mold on some of my pieces which may take up to a week to create an original piece. This is needed to keep the cost down for my customers because creating original works take many hours and some clients need their rings much faster than I can sculpt them but I still insist, to this day to modify each wax model to fit my customers needs. I can also modify the wax model to make it into another unique one-of-a-kind piece.


The History: The oldest known example of this technique is a 6,000-year old amulet from Indus valley civilization. Other examples from somewhat later periods are from Mesopotamia in the third millennium B.C. and the objects discovered in the Cave of the Treasure (Nahal Mishmar) hoard in southern Israel, and which belong to the Chalcolithic period (4500–3500 BC). Conservative estimates of age from carbon-14 dating date the items to c. 3700 BC, making them more than 5,700 years old. Lost-wax casting was widespread in Europe until the 18th century, when a piece-molding process came to predominate.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lake Norman Magazine - Accessible Art






Dawn Vertrees of Dawn Vertrees Jewelry in her Cornelius home studio working with a lost wax process to sculpt a decorative wine glass ornament commissioned for use in an upcoming wedding.

-Grant Baldwin Photography - Grant Baldwin

Dawn Vertrees, 54, Etsy store: DawnVertreesJewelry
After retiring from a lengthy 
corporate career, an unexpected mentor came into Dawn Vertrees’ life. Volker Kracht, a senior master jeweler from Germany, put off retirement for three years after seeing a stunning orchid pendant that Vertrees made from three sheets of wax.
Since 2001, Vertrees has pursued different artistic media, starting with ceramic jewelry and moving on to the world of Lost Wax, which she works in today to make fine artisan jewelry like intricately designed rings and pendants depicting tree frogs, turtles, starfish, and other nature-inspired subjects.
Along the way, she’s picked up numerous awards at festivals and art shows across the Southeast while making a living 
from her craftsmanship. But when the constant travel started to take its toll, Vertrees turned to the Internet to keep her business going.
“I got so tired of being out on the road that one day while my husband was filling up the motor coach with gas, I created an Etsy site and at each rest stop and break I had, I photographed my pieces so I could continue to make money without having to constantly travel to shows,” Vertrees says.
The Internet opened up more doors for Vertrees, allowing jewelry retailers in St. John, Virgin Islands and Disney resorts to discover her pieces and add them to their collections. 
In the coming months, Vertrees says her business will come full circle as she’s in the process of building a wholesale market and will eventually only sell through brick-and-mortar stores.
“It’s the circle of life of being a jewelry designer. Art shows come first, then Internet, and then wholesale and possibly, a a few wholesale shows,” Vertrees adds.

Read more here: Accessible Art
Wholesale Contact: Julie King Julie@buydawnvertreesjewelry.com, or by phone at 340-344-0410