Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"S" is for Sean

Finding a perfect birthday present for someone is sometimes quite tricky. When you're having a hard time finding the right thing, sometimes it's better to just make something... or have something made.

Melissa was struggling to find the perfect necklace for her boyfriend Sean. Jewelry for a boy is usually hard to find—well actually, good jewelry for a boy is hard to find. So I suggested she have something made, but what? It was then that she pointed to a jar on my shelf full of old letterpress letters—maybe there's an "S"?

An "S" indeed. Melissa thinks Sean will like this, so now it needs to be cast...

First a rubber mold is made from the original steel letter.

Then it is injected with wax, which creates an exact duplicate of the original. A hole was drilled through the wax piece so that the final cast could hang as a charm.
The wax piece is then cast in plaster that is fired in a kiln, causing the wax to melt and essentially evaporate, making this process a "lost" wax casting.

Melissa chose to cast the charm in sterling silver, so melted silver is poured into the plaster mold which is then placed in a bucket of water that breaks down the plaster and reveals the sterling piece. The final step is polishing.

Outcome: a shiny, truly original gift!

After just a few days of wearing the necklace, the sterling is worn in and seems like it has been around Sean's neck forever.

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