An inspiration that transformed into a reality. This all comes from the rough sketches that fill our magazine margins, note pads, and airplane napkins. Each collection is born from a tiny spark of an idea, whether strolling down a street in London or in a Cathedral in Istanbul, to looking down at a hotel carpet in the middle of Texas. Each piece requires a technical drawing which enables our CAD designers to build the piece digitally.
Once Frances has specified all the measurements of each piece, including cut, quality and size of each stone, a CAD is prepared. A CAD is the computer-aided-drawing which is a digital representation of the technical drawing and is an integral part of the design process. This allows us to visualize what the finished piece will look like, and allows Frances to give it her final approval. Sometimes a CAD will go back and forth multiple times before it is approved.
Once the CAD is approved, each piece is made into a resin, which is used to cast the silver mold, which will then be tagged and archived. Our Master Jeweler will now work diligently on the silver molds to ensure that each piece is flawless. If any flaws are found in the silver, the process is started over, as any imperfections will be magnified in the casting process. Once our Master Jeweler approves the silver, this is then used to create the rubber mold. This rubber mold is used to create the wax, which is the first step to each casting. The wax consists of every component needed to create each individual jewelry piece. Each style might have up to ten components and these components make up the individual trees.
(our Master Jeweler, Con Cobb)
Once the trees are built, they are put into canisters, filled with plaster, and placed into the kiln for 24 hours at a very high temperature. The wax is melted away, and you are left with a hard plaster mold. The gold is then poured into each tree creating the individual jewelry components. They then cut the pieces away from the trees and start assembling the pieces together.
To make it easier for setting each individual stone, the mounting is placed into “red shellac,” which is a heated soft piece of clay used to hold the mounting in place, while the craftsman sets each stone. This is a process that has been used for hundreds of years. All Sloane Street pieces are set under microscope to ensure the finest quality, and all diamonds are triple sifted, so that all stones are perfectly matched.
The final step includes high polishing the inside of every piece for maximum comfort, as well as the laborious and time consuming task of hand engraving every groove of the Sloane Street signature strié. This process alone can take up to 10-48 hours depending on the piece.
“The Making of Gadbois Jewelry”