Susan Hayward’s Brooch | Adding the Gemstones

Counting and placing diamonds or crystals for this design project is painstakingly slow work. We selected varies sizes of crystals ranging from 1mm – 4mm to re-create the Pave style setting for Susan Hayward’s Star brooch.

Having created the initial design drawings for the brooch on the computer enabled us to have the flexibility of getting the design exactly the way we waited without moving an actual gemstone. A wonderful time saver in the gemstone layout process.

Gemstone layout was created on paper and used as a template for cutting
Ready for drilling

Using the print-outs from the computer we overlaid them onto the wax carving and hand drilled the location of each stone. Once complete we removed the paper and proceeded to shape and size the openings to fit each crystal specified. The better the wax carving the less time you will spend in metal during the finishing process.


Final waxes are assembled one last time to check the design before being sent to the casting company
Wax work showing multi levels
Faux pave wax details are carved in the wax before casting


Creating the pave look with just wax is a time consuming project for more details on how to achieve this please read – Creating the “Look” of Pave.

Next step was to ship them off to the casting company. Each component is sprued to a “tree” then placed in a flask, plaster is poured into the flask, air dried then burned out in an oven, leaving the hollow forms to be filled with liquid metal. The end product will be yellow bronze castings. We selected yellow over white due to the fact that yellow casts better then white in detailed castings.

Here are the waxes after they have been sprued to the base

Continue reading about the project – At the Maker’s Bench.


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