Happy Friday!! The weekend is coming! You can make it!
Its full steam ahead here at the shop. We’ve had one of our best holidays yet, and that’s thanks to all of you! Its thanks to the love you have for our wares, and there’s no way we’re going to stop creating new gems that we all love!
With gratitude, here’s a little sneak peak of more of our jewelry making process and some of our new designs for those with a keen eye. In this part of the process we reveal how new molds are created from Masters, which will later be used to create the many waxen pendants for treeing.
Master designs are first printed with plastic resin, then are cleaned and posted into a frame. This frame will create the shape for the mold, along with the seal and channel for the wax to be shot through.
The frame is banded with two plastic sheets, and a silicone rubber is poured in. At this stage in the process it is imperative that no bubbles remain in the rubber, so it is placed in a vacuum sealed chamber where the air bubble get suctioned out both before and after pouring.
Once poured the molds are left for 16 to 24 hours to cure. We leave them in the warm office, where the Forest Lord watches over our work from His domain. When they are finally solid they get popped from their frames, trimmed of ragged edges, and then the painstaking process of cutting them apart in just the right way begins.
This is a very careful procedure–one must take care to cut the mold in such a way that wax cannot squeeze through, without damaging the master and while still allowing it (and therefore any wax copy) to pop out easily. The exacto knife is brand new and wicked sharp, gliding through the rubber like a hot knife through butter. As such concentration is key; there was some hesitation over whether or not we should even take pictures! But where would the fun in that be? (No molds were unduly damaged in the taking of these photographs 😉 )
One might think that once the mold has been created we can make as many copies of the pendants as we want; normally that would be the case, but not so here! These pendants are destined to be a part of our new pewter line–they’re quite solid and so would end up with a pretty hefty price in silver! No, these molds are just so we can get masters made for the pewter. That’s a different process entirely from bronze and silver, and requires a master that can withstand high temperatures so that a mold for pewter casting can be created.
That’s all for now! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the peek behind the curtain into our process. We’ll keep busying away–so many new things to create! Keep tuned and we’ll share what the pewter molds look like once they’ve arrived. May your weekend be relaxing or exciting, whichever you need more. Until next week!