One of our clients asked Phil to make her a unique collar necklace. This is the kind of project that shows how remarkable Phil's creative talent really is. Winner of many prestigious awards, Phil continuously innovates and improvises to create some of our most amazing designs.
The process of making this collar began with a rough sketch and then some 18K yellow gold round wire that he bent into the basic collar shape. Then he rolled out some 18K yellow gold sheet to make the layered decorative elements from. Here he begins the process of fitting the sheet to the collar.
After forming the first shape, Phil heads to the laser welder to tack weld the sheet to the wire. We have come to deeply love our laser welder. In the dark ages before we got it, we would have had to figure out a complex jigging system to hold things like this in place for soldering. Inevitably something would shift, have to be un-soldered and then re-positioned, re-soldered, until we got it right. The laser has also freed us to create items that would have been impossible to jig and attach elements that have heat sensitive gems already set. Here is Phil tack welding and then soldering.
If you read our earlier post, "One Way To Make A Ring, Part 2," that showed our amazing stone setter, Karl working on his immaculately clean work bench, you may notice a bit of a contrast with Phil's bench. While Phil thrives in a state of near chaos, Karl requires absolute order, in spite of this they manage to share a workroom and remain friends.
Next, Phil saws and trims the gold sheet and begins to make the next series of shapes to add.
Using a file, he shapes the next piece.
Checking the fit.
A little forging...
Our fearless leader, Linda likes what she sees so far. Linda, owner of Jewelsmith and an incredible designer, provides the overall vision and philosophy that guides us all. Somehow she manages to apply that guiding hand without stifling the creativity of her team. She is a wonderful boss and we all count ourselves lucky to work for and with her.
The process of forming and fitting the sheet continues...
Tapping with a hammer.
Adding some movement and dimension by curling up the edges of the sheet.
Another one of Phil's many strengths is his ability to conceive of and create catches and mechanisms that are both novel and easy to use. Here, before I could snap a picture, he has created an integrated hinge and a catch mechanism.
Buffing the edges of the layers for contrast.
Platinum sheet is inserted between the 18K yellow gold layers.
And finally, Phil adds a diamond, does the final finishing touches and we have a beautiful and totally original collar and another happy client!