At lelamooi we begin our process with ideas, inspiration, paper and pen, and a little magic. Once a design direction is clear, various angles are drawn out and shared with master metalsmith, Jimi Fortune. The new design is further discussed and Jimi interprets what he sees and hears into a 3D piece carved out of wax. Adjustments are made until we land on the vision!
At this point caster, Steve Godwin, steps in. He creates what is called a master mold. Jimi can then make multiple wax copies from the master. Steve will take the multiple waxes and attach them to a form, creating what is called a wax tree. The wax pieces are attached with a sprue, which forms a channel for the metal to enter the mold.
The tree is then put into a cylinder, which is filled with a plaster-like material called investment. A vacuum removes all the air from the cylinder to create a perfect mold of the tree. The cylinder is kiln fired to harden the investment and melt away the wax. The mold now has a tree-shaped cavity ready for casting. The hardened mold is placed inside the casting machine and filled with molten metal, which creates the casting. After the metal is poured and set, the investment is washed out, leaving behind freshly cast pieces of jewelry attached to the sprue and tree. The pieces are then removed from the tree and go back to Jimi, where they are polished and set with the perfect gem.
Voila a lelamooi treasure is born!