THE "SAVOIR-FAIRE" OF COURBET
For a bespoke piece, the design is presented, actual-size, as a gouache that shows the piece from every angle. An artwork in its own right, this rendering enables the head jeweller to understand how the piece will fit together, prepare an assortment of stones, and plan the different stages of production.
The gouache rendering is the basis for the prototype, in wax. Because wax is pliable, the model can be adjusted as many times as necessary to determine its ideal proportions and ensure the piece will be comfortable when worn.
The model is then passed to the caster who attaches it to a sprue (a wax stem) which is fixed to a cast tree, along with other wax models. The tree is set in a flask that is filled with plaster and placed in a kiln. The heat melts the wax which leaves an imprint in the plaster.
The jeweller then takes over to remove even the slightest imperfection and reveal the true beauty of the gold.
This essential step requires experience, care and no small amount of patience.
The mount, for example a ring shank, is now ready to be set with gems. The jeweller checks again the selected stones. The 4Cs of Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat, as well as an experienced eye, tell the jeweller when each tiny diamond in a pavé, for example, is a perfect match for the stones on either side.
Your jewellery is ready to be enjoyed