The Process

Here at Briarwood Designs, I design and craft each piece by hand using traditional lost-wax casting techniques..."What is LOST-WAX?" you ask? 

Let me explain...

First...the Carving

The process really starts with the inspirational moment ...for me, that's usually found in nature.  Once the design has revealed itself, I carve it from blocks and sheets of wax using files, grinders, dental tools and hot knives...

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next...the Burnout

Once the wax is carved, its is mounted to a rubber base, placed in a steel flask and covered with 'investment'...which is basically a high grade plaster.  After the plaster sets, the flask goes into the burnout oven where it is heated up and the wax is melted ,or 'lost', from the flask...hence, "Lost Wax" Casting.

then...the Casting

After the flask reaches the desired temp, I place it into my cetrifugal casting machine where I have my sterling silver in the crucible.  Once the silver is melted with the torch, I release the spring on the caster and it spins, throwing the molten silver into the cavity left in the flask where the wax used to be...

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finally...the Finish

With the rough silver piece excavated from the plaster, there is finally something resembling a piece of jewelry and its time to grind, buff and polish...

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the... Moment of Truth

After the flask cools a bit, it's plunged into water where it bubbles and spits, revealing the silver forms inside, where the wax once was...

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That's all there is to it!

It's a rather involved process... but it matches my skill set and I love it!  If I can draw and carve an idea...I can create it!