LOST WAX PROCESS
“Alloying your own gold is truly amazing and beautiful. Watching pure gold come to a molten liquid melting point and then seeing the cooling process is nature itself."
Lost-wax casting is an ancient Eastern process which allows artists to cast their sculpture, carving, or jewelry from wax into metal, such as gold, silver or platinum. Working in wax allows Angelica to sculpt and carve very detailed and embellished designs.
From a single block of wax Angelica is able to carve a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. Many tools are used in the process, from carving tools to lathes, allowing her to start forming and sculpting the design. Often, multiple wax components are used to create one piece. The lost wax process enables Angelica to have a visual dialogue with her clients as they both can see the work emerge in the wax and adjustments can be made before it's cast.
“It’s gratifying to have been keeping this classical craft alive for many years, starting from when I first learned how to work in high-karat gold, the ancient art made famous by many Mesopotamian civilizations.”
Since time began jewelry has been one our earliest forms of adornment; Angelica was classically trained using the same ancient techniques. A deep connection to the skills and traditions of ancient goldsmiths is forged in the goldsmithing process, evoking inspiration at every step. These ancient techniques allow Angelica to make new work with a modern sensibility. Every piece of jewelry she makes is made entirely by hand.
When goldsmithing one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, Angelica works almost exclusively in 22 karat gold, alloying the metal herself. After alloying, she is ready to start the process of making/milling sheet and wire that will be made into jewelry. While the rich saturated color of 22 karat is highly desirable, the true beauty of high-karat gold is that it lends the opportunities for the ancient techniques of fusing, granulating, forging, repousse and chasing by hand.
In an industry full of mass produced jewelry, Angelica takes pride in the art of hand fabrication. Each piece of jewelry is the product of hours of design, patience, skill, and energy, creating wearable pieces of art that embody the heart and soul of Angelica.
Fusing is the joining of two pieces of gold using a concentrated head source. The surface is heated to a near molten state, and if both pieces of metal reach the melting point simultaneously, fusing occurs. The delicate part of fusing is making sure the metal doesn’t get completely melted.
Granulation is the technique used to fashion tiny balls, or granules, out of gold to create a design or pattern. Each granule is then fused to a sheet of metal. Like fusing, granulation is a delicate process that cannot allow the metal to completely melt.
Forging is the process that uses applied force to shape the metal into a desired design by using a forging hammer.
REPOUSSE & CHASING
Repousse and chasing are methods that allow a relief design to be created by working both sides of the metal using specific tools. Repousse is a French word meaning to push out from the back. Chasing, from the French word “chasser," meaning to chase, is when you work from the front to define the edges.
GOLD KARAT GUIDE
24K=100% gold, 22k=92.5% gold, 18k= 75% gold, 14k=58% gold 10k= 41% gold