Designing & Carving the Model for Susan Hayward’s Star Brooch

Finding an emerald cabochon within our budget was not possible. Even a good Chatham emerald eluded our means. So my client Larry McQueen searched the internet and found a vintage glass cabochon that looked like it was made for our project. It was a beauty.

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Here is the green cabochon placed on a polished background plate of sterling silver. We did this to determine the best way to present the stone, so it would maintain the rich color. Should we have a plate behind the stone or not?
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Here is the same stone resting on a matte sterling silver plate. The green color glass gem was surprisingly close to the real emerald gemstones (shown in the picture)

Having finalized the drawings the next step was to carve the multi level star brooch in wax. This is our specialty.

One has to be careful not to carve too thin a plate, the casting metals will not flow properly when being cast if the design is too thin and too large. This brooch was one of the largest multi level casting we have ever made.

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Using our drawings from the computer as templates, we carefully cut the wax layers


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Each layer had a slight curve to it

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Next step was to drill the holes for the gemstones
Next step was to drill the holes for the gemstones

Susan Pictures Work  220Once the holes were drilled then each diamond needed to be measured and placed on the wax. The diamond layouts took a few hours to create. We will continue the story continued tomorrow.


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