How can lace be transformed into sterling silver? April 17 2014, 1 Comment
The making of Silver, Knot Lace...
The unique way in which the Silver, Knot Lace collection is produced, has the inevitable effect of inspiring within the beholder a sense of intrigue and captivation. The almost forgotten lace making process known as 'tatting' is at the heart of how each piece in the Silver, Knot Lace Collection originates (for more information on tatting, click here). Each and every piece of jewellery you see in our collection has its origins in tatted lace, hand crafted to our own designs by Ruth Mary. The tatted 'models' are taken to the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter to be cast using the lost wax casting process, producing solid sterling silver replicas, which are subsequently crafted into jewellery pieces.
It was an inspired idea to even consider having tatted lace models cast in silver - you would find, if handling the original lace object, that it is rather delicate to the touch! Prior to the casting of our first pieces, there was a level of faith required in committing to the investment of having silicon moulds made to cast the base metal experiments. After all, these moulds are the most expensive part of the process!
However, the experimental pieces emerged successfully from the furnace, and we decided, with much excitement, to press ahead with the casting process. Each design was recast, this time in sterling silver. The success of using lost wax casting in this unconventional way allowed us to produce jewellery that goes against the grain of what's been created before - an ideal that we want to be the blueprint of all future jewellery designs.
The last step is to finish each piece at the bench. First, the sprues are sawn off, with great care and attention. As well as this, delicate filing around the textured detailing is required. Finally, each piece is rigorously tumbled in our polishing machine to achieve a glistening finish. Even now, it is wonderful to consider that the lace texture of the original tatted models has been captured with such beguiling permanence in the cast object.