Showing posts with label Lost wax artist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lost wax artist. 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.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Charlotte Observer - Silver & Gold, Stones & Wax



What an Honor!

I was blown away when my Mom called and said, You made it on the front page of Charlotte Style!  I was in the studio and hadn't made it out that day but once my husband came home, he was carrying a small stack of Newspapers....you could tell, he was beaming with pride. He has so much confidence in my work, LOL...probably more than I do.

It was so important for me to come back to NC to make my jewelry and then to be recognized this way, it's an amazing feeling.

I can't thank Olivia Fortson (writer) and Kiran Dodeja Smith (photographer) for visiting my studio and getting to know me and my work...what awesome people to meet.

I ofter kid around with people that I wear bunny slippers to work but Olivia was right, I actually curl up my legs in my chair looking at my mandrel, visualizing my next project, and yes...barefoot and very happy with my job.

THANK YOU CHARLOTTE, NC!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sarah's Orchid Cuff - Step by Step Completed






Orchid Wax Cuff Completed...if she likes it.







____________________________________

Had a little change...

...We changed out the sesquipedales (on each side of the cuff) for the Aerangis articulata. It took some work but I totally understands her reasoning but glad we kept the main orchid, the sobennikoffia.

I can't really show off her beautiful photographs but look up the Aerangis articulata and you can see where I'm going with this.


Everything a little sharp right now...nothing has been attached, sort of laying on my frame at this point.



Making progress, all of the orchids will have a polished finish but I still have a lot of fine tuning before that can happen.

Sculpting three of these little orchids to put on 
the other side of cuff.

Working on the side of the cuff today.

I have added Orchid leaves, couple of buds and another smaller orchid to one side.
The other side is going to have a cluster of smaller orchids.

Once the whole concept is completed, I'll take all of the pieces off and fine tune every piece and add  the final detail to everything.


Fiddled with the design a bit, took the orchid off and now I'm re-sculpting it to look like a angraecoid orchid based on the photos Sarah has sent me. It has to be perfect and that's tough because I'm taking a very three dimensional flower and having to flatten it out yet have all the characteristics. I did make a little change in the design but that's why I quickly made the orchid and wanted to see it on the cuff. Great thing about wax...it allows you to melt, scrape, & cut until it's exactly like you want it.


Well so far, this was what I saw in my head...now I have to add the leaves, more buds plus add several smaller orchids to the right and left side of the center flower.

I have a lot more work to do...only about 20% completed so I'll keep you posted on the progress.


Well its time to start sculpting on Sarah's Cuff. I spent yesterday feeding my mind on orchid pictures, 
looking at stems, buds and flowers...

...so now its time to make the base of the cuff which I've decided to make based on the curly stems. I know those have a different name but "stem" is working for me at the moment. Once I make a base, I can start sculpting the orchid components...one petal at a time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Third Hand for Sculpting




Sculpting in soft wax has its pluses and minuses. The plus, I love sculpting wax rather than carving hard wax with a Flexshaft that sounds like a dentist drill, annoying when you're trying to design.

Now the Minuses, because most lost wax artist, carve their waxes instead of sculpting them, they have a nice selection of tools to choose from including Turret Holders for their metal mandrels.

As a "soft wax sculptor" (that's my new title) I don't need an iron mandrel because I don't bang on wax. Fabricators bang on metal so they need a heavy mandrel plus a steady holder...I just need a holder. Plus, wood mandrels are awesome, it's lightweight and to be honest, I like the design in the wood, kind of earthy.

Another pet peeve of mine...Wolf Carving Waxes that have a Gold Color instead of the traditional ugly green & blue sheet and wire waxes that I use. My customers could visualize their jewelry a lot better if I could show them their sculpted jewelry in gold wax.

BUT, thank goodness I have a husband who's very handy with the tools & wood. He has built so many tools, holders, and benches for me. 


Work Bench Vise





What am I working on? My new Starfish and Fan Coral Cuff Bracelet



And this is Lexi, she is my Lynx Point Siamese Kitten,
always there to lend a hand.