Welcome to the first of a new series of EC One workshop blogs – we want to let you know what we’re making, be it EC One pieces or commissions. With any luck, you’ll get an insight into the variety of jobs the workshop does, find out what goes into making the jewellery we all wear, and perhaps even get inspired to commission something special yourself…
This first job is a relatively simple one. These are – or rather, they will be – white gold wedding bands. Currently sitting on Kate’s workbench, these are waiting to be filed into a rounded shape (making them more comfortable to wear) and polished. These particular ones are also being filed down to make them thinner – when we receive them they are 3mm thick bands, but many of our customers prefer a finer, daintier 2mm.
On to something more complicated. Here is the lovely Jude, who is working on an opal ring. He is making the ring using a process called Lost Wax Casting. This involves making a wax mould of the piece, which is what Jude is up to in the picture below – the close-up shows him hollowing out the exact shape of where the stone will sit. The wax is suspended in a metal flask and liquid plaster is poured in. The plaster dries overnight and put into the kiln the next day. The high temperatures burn out the wax but the plaster stays intact, thus leaving a perfect mould of the wax. The liquid gold is then poured into this cavity.
Here’s a good example of that variety I was telling you about – this watch was damaged, and some of the stones had fallen out. It belonged to the customer’s grandmother, so understandably had huge sentimental value. Luckily, it was also very easy to fix – here the stones are being reset. We also spruced it up with a quick polish; it came out great.
I couldn’t help including one of our trademark EC One star pendants, made on site.
And last, but not least, something that I hope might inspire. This particular customer wanted to find a fiftieth birthday present for an old friend. The friend in question, she said, is one of these people that already has everything they could want or need – impossible to buy for, basically. So she had the friend’s wife and daughter each sign a scrap of paper, and asked us to engrave the signatures onto a pair of sterling silver cufflinks. The result is tasteful, and personal without being overly sentimental – our customer sent us an email a few weeks later to thank us – “he loved them – I am officially the best friend in the world – thanks!” It was such a simple idea, but what a lovely result!