Stephen's Fine Jewelry
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Making custom jewelry

Computer Aided Design

CAD is a sophisticated modeling process using advanced software to plot coordinates for mechanical drawings. These drawings can be exported to various types of prototyping machines called CNC (computer numerical control) mills or growing machines. CNC mills cut-away material from a block of wax to make the jewelry model. The growing machines layer material from side to side much like a printer to build the model. The precision of these models exceeds what any human could do while hand carving. Design possibilities become limitless because the CAD software enables the designer to create parts and design elements that aren't possible using standard tools and methods. Another benefit of CAD jewelry design is the ability to see a photo-realistic image before the final completion of the jewelry. 

Drawings and Renderings

Made to order jewelry takes vision, skill and experience. A design is first discussed verbally, perhaps with the aid of existing pictures, or other pieces of jewelry. Rough sketches are then made to complete the model design. These will include information on stone sizes, shapes and colors and also metal types and finishes. From these images a completed jewelry creation is handmade into a finished piece.

Wax Models

A wax model is created in many cases that will be used in the gold/platinum casting process. The wax model is hand carved to the exact specifications of the stones being used. The wax model quality and design is very important as the finished piece will be an exact replica of the wax design. Fine wax models take considerable time and expertise. This model is placed in a flask and plaster is poured all around the model. Once the plaster hardens an exact impression of the model is formed inside of the flask. The wax model is burned out of the flask leaving a cavity of the jewelry design. Next molten metal is injected in the flask mold using vacuum or centrifugal casting. When the metal cools and hardens the plaster is broken away revealing the unfinished jewelry casting. This casting is filed, polished and prepped for assembly, which may include setting the gemstones or welding other precious metals to the casting.