TOP TEN REQUIREMENTS TO DO CUSTOM JEWELRY:
#10 Desire to show someone or yourself the extra love that goes into custom made jewelry.
#9 Have a touch of adventurism in your spirit, as life is too short not to seek excitement.
#8 Must realize that the transaction will not be an impulse buy or something that will be gift wrapped on day one of the project.
#7 Consider all options from where the piece will be worn to using some of your own metal and/or gemstones in the new creation that is being developed.
#6 Save some pocket change if needed to aquire a custom made piece of jewelry versus a mass produced product that may sell for less, but rarely meets the standards of Faini Designs Jewelry Studio. Custom pricing is not out of this world.
#5 Humor makes the world go around. Everything seems more relaxed with a little fun in comparison to that stuffy, stiff lip approach you may have felt in another environment.
#4 Trust -- Trust in yourself and the people creating that new piece of jewelry specifically for you.
#3 Have the power to take a risk and not afraid of being different than the masses.
#2 Teamwork consisting of you, your designer(s), F&H Repair, Inc staff and a loved one is optional.
#1 The Number One Requirement to do custom work is IMAGINATION.
Step 1: Sketching & Design
The first and most important step in the custom process is designing.
Faini Designs Jewelry Studio is proud of their team of designers and jewelry artisans that will help you determine a look that's you. A look designed for you and within that comfort zone when the budget comes into play.
Many designs start with current designs we have in our showcases or have done in the past. Our professionals will integrate many ideas as they pursue that final result you may have in mind or may have seen. The only limit with us is the imagination.
Step 2: Rendering
Once we jump that first critical hurdle in design and are confident that everyone is on the same playing field, we take an advanced step up from counter sketching or simple drawings. It is called rendering, which in simple terms is 'transferring a drawing into a very sophisticated computer system that will give us a much more detailed rendering that is much easier to understand in everyone's mind.'
Once the item has been rendered, it is very easy to make changes in sizes and shapes before doing anything else. The goal here is for everyone to agree that the compter generated model is as close as we can get before it is made in 3D.
This step is optional in some cases as the piece may be carved by hand or made directly out of the desired metal chosen as has been done many, many years in the past.
Step 3: Create a Wax
After all of the changes and tweaks are made to the sketches, drawings or renderings and all is satisfied; it is now time to really bring the creation to life in 3D. The results of this stage are fun to look at, touch 'n feel and for everyone to get a much better idea on what the end result will like. There is still plenty of room for any changes needed before going past this step.
You, the customer, will be able to try on the wax model and be able to see not only finger size when applicable, but the overall look on your hand, neck, wrist or wherever. It gives you a great opportunity to see up close how the 'end result' will appear once its cast along with size proportions with diamonds/gemstones along with lay out, height, width, spacing etc.
There are basically three types of waxes we do at Faini Designs Jewelry Studio.
Injection wax - we have a mold already of the item, inject melted wax into the mold, let it cool, remove it from the mold and then make any necessary changes to meet all requirements requested.
Carved wax - we begin with plain wax stock and meticulously hand carve the jewelry piece to match the sketches submitted.
Milled wax - we take the computer rendering and simply send it across the room to a milling machine where the piece is carved out of a block of wax by the mill using very small milling bits through a series of steps.
After the wax approval is given, we use the lost wax casting process to create the piece in the desired preciouis metal you have chosen.
Step 4: Casting
Now is the time to turn up the heat. During this process there are two stages that call for temperature to be turned up. Once on the oven to melt wax out and cure the investment compound and secondly, the end of the torch to melt various metals.
Prior to casting, the approved wax is placed in a flask with liquid investment compound, similar to plaster of Paris, poured around it. This is similar to filling a hole with quick cement and adding water. The flask, after a hard set has been achieved, is placed into the oven turned up to 1,350 degrees. The procedure removes (burns out) the wax leaving a perfect mold to be filled with the respective metal for the project.
The next challenge in this step is getting the solid metal into each and every space that is in the mold. As it would be impossible to pound the metal into the delicate mold, the torch is fired up with its tip of flame directed right at the metal until it is transformed into a liquid form. With a quick pour, some help from a vacuum machine and cool, the mold is broken to uncover another masterpiece. Well, a bit rough yet, but it is another step closer to the FINISHED MASTERPIECE.
Step 5: Refinishing
Rough. That is the best way to describe the metal's finish when it comes out of the casting flask.
This is one of the most critical steps in jewelry creation. It ranks right up there with design and final inspection. It takes meticulous hands, several man hours and a lot of experience to properly refinish jewelry. After the piece is cast, we trim, blend and finish the surfaces of the new creation.
An exceptional job done in refinishing the piece will reflect in quality, stunning appearance and the high standards of the work done by Faini Designs Jewelry Studio.
Step 6: Assembly
This step towards the final destination is, at times, not necessary. In many cases, jewelry is not done in one simple complete cast. Some examples are when some assembly is required on rings needing heads soldered in, a hinged shank installed or when the piece is being created with two different colors or metals. They must now be put together by torch or laser welding.
In some instances jewelry is fabricated, meaning neither a wax nor a cast was ever done. The piece is made directly out of various metals and jewelry findings to meet the required specifications. After assembly it is not uncommon to have to return back to the step of finishing before going on.
Step 7: Setting of Diamonds / Gemstones
When there are gemstones involved in the project, this step can be fairly simple or very complicated and time consuming.
First the gemsontes must be laid out on the piece. All diamonds and gemstones are arranged where they will be when the setting process is complete. Next, each one will need a 'seat' which is usually a hole slightly bigger than their outline size along with the proper depth to retain the correct height according to specifications in the project. Clearly the shape most commonly used is round. Everything other than round requires more time and more expertise to be seated properly.
After properly preparing the seat for the diamond/gemstone, some or all of the metal around the edge of the outline is pulled slightly over the edge with a graver to secure it in its place. In some cases when all are seated and set, a miligrain edging may be applied for an added look.
Step 8: Polishing
Fire up the wheels and break out the rouge, it is time to do some polish work. There are several different polishing wheels along with a wide assortment of polishing rouge material to meet the challenges of creating a shimmering shining surface. The final polishing is done to bring the beauty and brilliance out of the piece.
Every polisher has their favorite with yellow gold being the most popular because it is relatively easy to put a super finish on yellow gold when all the prior work was done right. Due to its extreme hardness, platinum is on the other end of the spectrum as its surface does not readily wear off like gold can on the polishing wheel, but it's surface likes to reposition itself to get pretty.
Step 9: Rhodium Plating
Rhodium plating is the most requested type of plating we do at Faini Designs Jewelry Studio. White gold is rhodium plated to give the metal a superior bright white color and to protect alloy.
Approximately 99% of white gold jewelry is or needs to be rhodium plated due to the fact over half of its content is yellow gold. For example, when the item is 14k white gold, over half if it is yellow with the rest consisting of various hardening and whitening alloys.
Rhodium plating is a very thin coating of platinum that adheres very well to other metals such as gold and silver. Rhodium plating, as well as any type of plating, does not last forever. It will wear off in time and when obvious signs of yellowing appear, re-rhodium plating is recommended which can be done in a couple of days for a minimal fee.
Faini Designs Jewelry Studio also does silver plating and gold plating.
Step 10: Finished Piece
Drum roll please.
Once completed and the piece meets our quality standards we have set at Faini Designs Jewelry Studio, it is ready for you! This is the main reason Gerard and Thomas Faini extended F&H Repair, Inc. with a retail extension directly to the public.
It is the look in their eyes and the smiles on their faces that continues to propel Faini Designs Jewelry Studio's complete team to keep doing what they do best. The end results are priceless as new doors are opened as families continue to return to the Faini family for the special experience they receive each time they visit.
Maestro. . .