FABRICATION vs. CASTING IN JEWELRY DESIGN
We love sharing a bit behind the scenes about how jewelry is made- especially because we represent a handful of different designers who have different methods in creating their jewelry!
Because we have a large stock of bridal jewelry, and offer custom design services, we have had the pleasure of sharing parts of the the CAD design and casting process with you, but wanted to dive a bit deeper on why these processes are used for certain types of jewelry, vs. hand fabrication. So first we will explain what fabrication is, and why most of our artists go this route when creating their work.
Fabrication is the process in which a jewelry piece is created through joining each component of the design together by hand- usually through soldering, riveting, or welding. These processes require the use of a torch, hammers, and other jewelry tools that an artist will use to connect each piece of their design.
In this process, you start with sheet metal or wire and fabricate the design by using heat from a torch and solder to connect the components.
Casting is a process where metal is melted down and poured into a mold. This mold is usually made from a shape the artist creates (usually in wax, but sometimes other materials are used). This shape can be hand-carved in wax, or 3D printed. Casting is a process that is often used in the creation of designs that have a detailed complex design- like engagement rings- where fabricating by hand would be quite difficult and time consuming. Casting provides a wider range of design ability for custom designs- which is why we love this route for bridal, heirloom redesigns, or other complex design work.
In addition to this, casting is also a way to recreate the same piece over and over again- which is ideal for designers who want to "mass produce" their designs. This process can be useful for everyday fashion lines that are being sold quickly or through many sources.
Some of the artists we represent also sell to other stores, online, and at in person shows. This means they need stock in many different places. Casting parts can help them keep stock and quicken the fabrication process.
In the end, both fabrication and casting are valuable in their own ways. We love seeing our artist use these processes creatively and resourcefully!
In this process, melted metal is poured into a mold to create the shape of the design.