Past the moment of inspiration and creation of the jewel (as I described in the post “process of Creation of the jewel”), comes from the manufacturing process. The jewelry can be made by industrial process, handmade (jewellery), modeling in wax or through rapid prototyping. This post will be dedicated to the craft process in the development of the jewel. In the process of jewellery the jewel is made on own countertop where you manipulate the metals and metal alloys and it is important that the place is well lit and well ventilated, mainly because chemicals are used, as solutions and gases. The Goldsmith performs all the work, from the construction to the final finish. The jewellery is a very ancient art which uses the precious metals (usually silver, gold and Platinum) in the manufacture of jewelry.
Stages of the Process of Manufacture of Gems in Jewellery
Firstly, start preparing the alloy that is used in jewelry. Having the metal bound, prepare the plates and wires for a distinguished finish as the textures, for example. Most metals is going through a process of conformation (metal change) through the plastic deformation to improve its characteristics. This heat treatment is called annealing.
This step consists of the purification of metals in that applies the heating and melting to separate the impurities, as well as dissolving in acids. The process of refinement of metals is used for:
– Recycling of Existing Parts
To reuse the metal of a jewel that already exists, you must separate the pure noble metal of other metals that are in the League. Nitric acid is used (highly corrosive), copper, which helps to separate the particles of gold or silver and water with soda crackers. Once refined, the desired metal will be ready to be restored.
-Recovery of Metal Powders
When making a piece of jewelry, the metal passes through sawdust and filing, resulting in the accumulation of metal powders that must be reused to avoid the waste of metal. After the filings is separated from other wastes by a magnet is made purification and cleaning the metal so that it can be turned on and worked again.
The finish of a jewel begins by casting of metals. In this process the metals or alloys are heated until they reach your melting point and then are spilled in specific molds (ingot moulds and rilheiras) for the production of ingots and blades that turn into wires and sheets after rolled. In this process of jewellery uses the oxygen torch/gas or compressed air/gas and other specific tools as Crucible, Crucible support, an ingot mould and rilheira, borax, bees wax and tweezers.
This process is used for the metal more malleable and to facilitate handling, as well as avoid fractures. Consists of the metal heating (for making softer) and your Quick cooling, enabling greater hardness as possible. Ideally, the cooling takes place in a natural way, mainly gold.
This step is used to produce sheets, wires (squares or cane) and tapes. The previously cast metal passes between two rotating rollers to obtain your thickness reduction. Use the manual laminator (user rotates the handle) or electric laminator. During this process the metal will hardening gradually, being necessary the anneal it again.
Is a mechanical process where a bar, tube or wire passes through a calibrated die (matrix), obtaining a diameter lower than desired. For the metal reaches the final diameter, is exerted a force of traction during the passage of metal through the spinneret. This process is used for the manufacture of wires. In addition to the spinneret, are used other equipment such as the vise or walrus, locking pliers and beeswax.
In jewellery this process has great importance and for the result to be perfect, the saw must be placed correctly in the bow. The tools used in this stage are manufacturing an arc of mountains and hills of varying sizes. The saw must be lubricated with a suitable folder whenever necessary. The sawmill is used for making various types of cuts as the straight cut, curved, corner alive and leaked.
Consists of chipping, scraping, sculpting or polishing the metal with a file. It is very important a correct stance on the bench and support the metal to be filed away in estilheira (to be firmer), so that the result of this process is completed successfully. There are files of various formats and degrees of abrasiveness that are used according to the surface to be worked, being thicker files chop faster, taking more metal. For the perfect finish of a jewel, are used more thin files.
In jewellery this step is to form metal or leave in the format according to a template. To model, the metal must be annealed and the tools that are used in this process are: tribulet, pliers, jigs, embutidores, and data slots, chatoneiras, plus wooden hammers, rubber and plastic that do not damage the metal.
In this process, the goal is to unite two or more metal parts by welding, forming a single piece. In jewellery, it uses portable torch, gas torch or blowtorch gas/oxygen, but there are also electrical and laser welds. Several techniques are used for welding, as well as various intensities of the flames of torches (called neutral, reducing and oxidizing flame flame). The goldsmiths must have great knowledge, care and attention to perform this technique.
Are used toxic acids (sulfuric acid usually) or salt bleach (less toxic) in the process of manufacture. The etching is to remove oxidation (appear when the metal is annealed or soldier), grease and impurities on the metallic surface. After pickling, you must put the piece immersed in a solution of water with bicarbonate to neutralize.
In jewellery this process is key to a perfect finish. Consists of wearing, shave or Polish with sandpaper to remove rust stains and marks of files. Depending on the surface to be sanded, sandpaper are used with different degrees and should be used in the thickest to the thinnest. The thinner the more polished sandpaper will be the final piece.
This step is to shine in the play (Polish) and is part of the final finish of a jewel. Before this process the piece must be well sanded. To perform the polishing, the Goldsmith may use a specific machine that has the name of polishing machine or whip engine; and for cleaning, are used tamboreadores (rolls-rolls), ultrasonic devices and vibrators.
In jewellery, there are other processes with specific techniques that can still complement and add a high value to jewelry. The textures (different effects on the surface), the marriage of metals (Union of two or more metals of different colors), gane mokumê (block which comprises several metal plates varied colors), keum-Boo (thin sheets of gold, on the surface of other metal, creating drawings and contrasts), forge, carving and engraving with acids are some of the techniques used to give the differential to the jewel. Finally, after the play ready, there is still the option of giving a special jewel finish fixing the gems and/or utilize enameling techniques, resin, among others. We must remember that it is very important to use safety goggles and masks, as well as great attention when handling the machines, cutting tools and torches; because it is essential to the care of personal safety.
In the video at ejewelry.website, the brand Louis Vuitton shows small details of the manufacturing process of your jewellery.