This is my place, my secret garden where I work. It is located in Normandy, in Vexin.
I will share with you different stages of workshop work.
You can come visit my workshop by appointment.
Here are some of the processes involved in creating our jewelry.
Study of a prototype
After studying a sketch on which I brainstorm ideas, I finalize a pencil drawing. Then I model the volume shape using wax, earth or plastiline. This is the modeling stage. After validation, I make a silicone mold to make a resin print on which I will be able to refine the details using sculpting tools. The foundry will then be able to produce the model for me in high fusion (art casting).
Sawing metal in jewelry
The “bocfil” is the jeweler’s saw. This tool is essential for a jeweler. Sawing is one of the basic operations in the manufacture of jewelry. Same thing, when I collect the cast iron from the foundry. The raw cast iron element is sawed, ground and cleaned. The final piece must be free of all superfluous materials. This is an important preparation phase before assembly and welding.
Preparation before welding
I validate the assemblies before welding, it is meticulous work to make good welds.
Welding or brazing
In jewelry, there are two ways of joining metals hot: welding and brazing. Although these techniques both involve the use of a blowtorch, they have some nuances in their process.
Simply put, welding connects metals by melting and fusing them together without adding a filler metal. Brazing, the technique that I use, can be done on any type of metal. It is not necessary that the two pieces to be assembled be made of the same metal. Thus, silver and gold, or silver and brass, can be assembled without any problem. The important thing is to pay attention to the respective melting temperatures of each metal.
To shape the metal you have to pass it under the blowtorch. This action will give it essential flexibility to shape it. It can thus be flattened, bent, folded, twisted, stamped or twisted. Here, using a mallet, I bend it around a cylindrical shape then I let it cool before plunging it into a bath of stone.
The removal consists of plunging the jewel into an acid bath in order to clean it of the oxidation caused by the flame of the blowtorch.
Gilding or silvering
The jewelry is immersed in a bath of gold or silver, this is galvanization by electrolysis. I work in collaboration with a professional gilder for this step. The jewelry goes to his workshop to be gilded or silvered.
The jewel is immersed in a bath of gold or silver connected to electric current. Thanks to this direct electric current, the gold or silver particles are deposited on the metal.
I patinate certain pieces of jewelry after gilding with an aging oil mixed with pigments in order to give them roundness and highlight all the small details.
Of course, I am sharing the broad outlines with you, but be aware that between these different stages, there are other intermediate stages, the idea being to enlighten you on an accessible and understandable basic process.