Sink or Swim
Sink or Swim
Sink or Swim

Sink or Swim

Regular price $880.00 Sale

As with most of my work, this piece started out as a rough idea, a vision, a new method I wanted to test... We are always learning, and in my tenth year of jewelry making, I still have so much I want to learn.

I started with carving what I consider to be "the perfect band". Elegant and yet broad enough to stand out, thick enough to feel substantial, with a tangible gravity to her, but the edges softened, and rounded delicately, with a subtle, sensual dome. Thats how every beautiful band should begin. From here I loosely plot where the stones will fall, cutting in holes and stone beds and lining up the gems that get to play in this one, the ones that speak to me today... And then there comes an element of freewill if you like. I add heat to the stones and encourage them to fall as they will, in the bed that I laid, or not, upside down, sideways, or not... I allow the stones to lead, and the heat to create the natural ebb and flow that the molten metal will eventually follow.

For this piece I chose fiery sienna colored garnets, rubies, raw diamonds and diamond shards, and cast this ring in my personal favorite, 10kt Yellow Gold.  

Each and every ring is hand made to order, and created using a unique and pretty extraordinary technique called cast in place. So there will be variables in each ring as no two can be the same, this isn't a process that I can mass produce. I can emulate the ring photographed using the same stones and rough layout, or I can use stones of your choosing - one color or several mixed. There is so much roof for play.

Lost wax carving:

I am a lost wax carver - an ancient Egyptian art form of carving sculpture into wax, or in this instance jewelry, that is then set into heatproof plaster and fired in a kiln allowing the wax to melt away, leaving a cavity in the plaster for molten metal to be poured in. It is called lost wax because that one original carving is then forever lost. The process is nothing short of a gamble and there is a humbling element of chance involved in every cast - and this is all part of what makes the process so thrilling. 

The technique of adding stones to the wax carving is known as "Cast in Place", using heat to sink stones into the wax, and carving out little stone beds to build up wax around the stones, I work these gems into my carvings, allowing the heat to lead and the stones to fall where they will. The goal is this sweet spot where there is enough space around the stone to allow the plaster to pin it in place during the burnout, and enough wax around the stone to hold it secure once cast, but sparingly enough to create a unique and visually precarious setting, without a traditional bezel or prong setting. 

Every one is unique to the next, the stones have their own spectrum of diversity, and the natural ebb and flow of the wax makes for an organic sense of movement and equilibrium. Not all stones will survive this process, it's only possible with Diamonds, Sapphires, Ruby's, Garnets and a few brave souls I dare to throw in to the mix. And anything can happen in the cast... 

If you have any specific desires or curiosities please reach out and email me, much of my work is taking these starting points as your canvas, or inspiration, and custom creating something uniquely for you.

Made with passion, made with fire. 

-JM