I’m very proud of these. They are the first earrings I’ve ever made.
They are silver lilies with amethysts (or that was the idea – I think they look like snakes eating grapes!). I made them for my friend, Terri-Ann’s 40th birthday – amethysts are her birthstone.
It’s quite a process making things like this let me tell you! I swanned into Jewellery Design class thinking it would be a doddle, but no. It’s very time consuming, and very trying for type A people like me.
First you have to sculpt the form you want around the stones in pink wax (you must remember to oil the stones before you do this, as you have to start again – yes, I learnt this the hard way). Once your wax is sculpted to how you want it to look, it is then put into a kiln, surrounded by a Plaster of Paris type material called ‘investment’. As the kiln heats-up, the wax melts, leaving a negative form of what you’ve created.
Once you have your mould, you can cast. The silver is S U P E R hot, and is poured into the investment mould. 5 minutes later, you swish the investment around in water. It dissolves in water, leaving you with a silver version of your wax creation.
Then you can file, sand and finish the silver before you set the stones in place. The wire is something I won’t be making again – buying it is much better. It has to be pressed, and pulled, and heated for what seems like your whole life, and even then it isn’t thing enough.
These babies took me 12 hours. For my next piece I’m attempting a peacock feather pendant with turquoise stone centre, so goodness knows how long that’s going to take!