Old School: Fabrication



Long, Art Deco style Chandelier Earrings

Precious Metal selected by client:

14k White Gold


Client requested use of existing collection of diamonds of varying sizes and cuts which had been removed from other items of her personal jewelry.

Second-Row-ImagesClients diamonds are laid out; we will need more.

MVC-014S_006This will be a fabricated item, there will be a sequence of construction. Sometimes confusing to the untrained eye but it will all come together in the end.

The larger diamonds are in bezels with .75 MM spacers in between. Individually soldered this is a piece of the puzzle.

MVC-015S_005The keystone Baguette is soldered in place at the base of the earrings. These are handmade as the stones are off-size. The center of the earring is then cut out allowing for the placement of bezel-set diamonds. These are NOT soldered into position yet. We need room to do the Pave’ diamond work around the rim of the earrings.

MVC-002S_001The keystone Baguette is soldered in place at the base of the earrings. These are handmade as the stones are off-size. The center of the earring is then cut out allowing for the placement of bezel-set diamonds. These are NOT soldered into position yet. We need room to do the Pave’ diamond work around the rim of the earrings.

MVC-007S_004Working our way down, graduating in size. Again carefully measuring each diamond, making sure of correct placement. We want to achieve that gentle taper.

MVC-008S_005Getting down to the .02 CT diamonds which have a diameter of 1.7 MM

MVC-009S_008We have a long way to go but you can see things taking shape. Metal will be trimmed down to fit next to the diamonds

MVC-052S_001I like to use two types of engravers, a converted knife for original cuts and a large flat for the bright work, trimming

MVC-053S_001Shown one side started the other ready to be cut. Engravers shown are knife in the top view and a large flat engraver at bottom.

MVC-054S_004The second smallest diamond setting shown next to a Dime. Just so you can get an idea of scale, this is precision hand work. And we have a long way to go!

MVC-013S_001OK client wished for a shorter Baguette at the base of earrings. We have in her inventory a smaller baguette and we can shorten up the setting – see detail next photo.

MVC-012S_005Click photo to enlarge, Hit upper left arrow to return to this page. This should give client an idea of what we can do with existing diamonds.

MVC-028S_001OK we have shortened up the baguette setting as per client’s request and have “rounded out” the bottom inside. We are looking at SHAPE at this time. The bezel row is just held in place to give an idea of what it will look like. Again we are looking at the shape.

MVC-029S_001An overall look at what we have at this time

MVC-030S_002Center bezels are not soldered yet, they will be lower in height. Upper earring has been started.

MVC-032S_005Just a quick detailed look at where we’re heading. Original sketch with slight modifications on 6-22-09, approval date.

MVC-031S_003Looks like we CAN use the larger baguettes (removed from the bottom of earrings). If I make the settings a little longer they can fit across the top and finish our DECO Design!

I think this slight modification is an excellent idea, with a look that will tie everything into position.

MVC-033S_005Soldering all of our parts together, we call it fabrication.

MVC-034S_001Starting on the back spacers, using tubing. This has a nice traditional look when finished

MVC-035S_005Back frame wire is soldered on, over sixty solders on this piece alone

MVC-036S_005The tubing and back wire adds a nice dimension, this also protects the back of the diamonds, the culets.

MVC-040S_000Backside view of earring. The framework is complete.

MVC-041S_001Time to start on the earring top

MVC-042S_006These were time-consuming, everything must work correctly!

From the client’s design to the working hinge.

As these were commissioned in gold I have chosen to use platinum for all the findings. Those are, top post, hinge joint, lever, and dangle joint. Made in platinum the working parts are superior for durability where they will have a lot of movement. These earrings would be too heavy if totally made in platinum.

MVC-047S_000MVC-046S_000We make sure all fits well before final assembly. Getting ready for Diamond setting! Things are coming together , ready for the part I love, (well actually I love the mechanical aspect, but diamond setting is so satisfying.)

MVC-048S_003A straight-on view, they always look better with diamonds. These will look fabulous.

MVC-050S_001Details… there are an astounding 174 precision solders in this pair of earrings!

MVC-079S_000The larger diamonds are set in their prospective bezels

MVC-084S_000Time for some real detail, Pave’ work. The diamond setting technique I just love.

The earring is secured in a substance that will liquefy when heated but is hard when cool

This secures the earring while I set the stones.

MVC-085SMounted in a jewelers engraving block, it rotates. Assisting in the many angles it will take to set the diamonds.

MVC-086SOne by one, diamonds are set in their pre-determined spots.

All carefully measured way back at the beginning

MVC-052S_003More diamonds are measured and set

MVC-053aS_000MVC-055aS_000Shown are the 1.75, 1.7 and 1.65 MM diamonds

Approximately .02ct each


2.5″ long,

8.48 CT. of VS/ FGH

7.75 grams each

Total Elegance


Old School: Lost Wax Casting

Design is hand carved in wax, then cast in desired metal

Project1_003We start with a young man’s dream; 2.25 CT. GIA Certified, Laser Inscribed Diamond

MVC-023F_004Starting out with hard carving wax we make a blank the ring size we want. Carefully scribing center lines to carve by.

MVC-025F_004The Diamond is carefully centered, checked for depth, and more scribed lines are made in preparation for the next cuts

MVC-027S_002More cuts are made, more lines are scribed. We have a long way to go

MVC-014S_003MVC-011S_006Getting there, still have to lighten up

MVC-016S_002Gradually the wax is trimmed down to a comfortable size bearing in mind the need for durability

MVC-015S_002We will Pave’ set diamonds down the prongs as well as around the seat for the center diamond.

MVC-022F_004The wax has a wax rod attached to it, that is placed on a sprue base.
The sprue base is attached to the bottom of a metal cylinder called a flask.. We now add a special mixture like plaster to the flask.

MVC-027F_001The flask is then vacuumed to remove any air bubbles from the flask before the investment hardens up.

mvc-030Then it is into the furnace, a ramped up then down sequence so the flask investment does not crack. While the wax carving burns away to nothing. Leaving a perfect void of our ring. This is where the platinum will go

MVC-032_000Now on to a vertical casting machine for platinum. A crucible with the casting grain is heated up to a liquid state, a little over 3200 degrees F
The flask it taken from the Furness and placed in the are of the centrifuge. A release is hit and the centrifuge takes off spinning at a rapid rate. Forcing the liquid PY into the void in our flask.

MVC-033_000The platinum will cool and we remove the bulk investment, tapping the flask with a hammer will get you going. The immediate investment around the cast ring has turned to glass. It will be removed with acid.

MVC-018S_003Casting came out well. Sanded and ready for polish

MVC-023S_000Just finished setting all diamonds.
Sophisticated, contemporary styling.

MVC-033S_002Now for a little Identification

MVC-032S_002MVC-031S_001Laser inscribed GIA certificate number

New School: CAD (Computer Aided Design)

WEB_000I always start with a hand drawing

IMG_8558_000Computer Aided Design starts with basic size and shape.
Then can get very complicated.
Utilizing four windows to view project, and a good thousand buttons to achieve what you want.

IMG_8559_000There are several “Layers ” we use to keep things not so confusing when we look at them

IMG_8560_000Changing a view to artist view helps with the visualization.

55a_000This is a CAD RENDERING
Made to look like Platinum & Diamonds.
Also there is some rough sketching in black ink where prongs will end up
There is no view of all the hand engraving yet to be done
This is where clients can get a real good idea of just what things are going to look like

IMG_8258_005Finished product!