Step #1 - Custom Designing
In order to produce a custom piece, the very initial step is to create a design. This is the point where the magic begins. It is a stage where we develop your idea for the design and help you translate it into reality. This initial designing is a crucial part of the process but does not form part of our manufacturing timeline. It is important to keep this in mind when reaching out. Give yourself as much time as possible in this design stage while still allowing for our 7-11 week manufacturing timeline.
- DEVELOPMENT -
3 - 5 weeks
Step #2 - CAD
Once a design has been chosen and solidified, your piece will move into the modelling process. This process involves constructing your design in a system using Computer Aided Designing (CAD) technology. Depending on the nature of your design, our jewellers will create or adjust a CAD for specific to the dimensions of your chosen stone. These CAD renders are generally approved by Louise Jean. However, depending on the level of customisation in your piece you may be presented with CAD render for approval or to make any final adjustments. This process can take anywhere between 3-5 weeks and is highly dependant on our current orders.
- PRODUCTION -
2 - 3 weeks
Step #3 - Resin Model
Once the CAD design file is approved and ready, it is transferred on the 3D Rapid Prototype system. A system that uses 3D printing methods to create a resin model of your design. The resin model is inspected and compared to the CAD design to ensure accurate reproduction.
Step # 4 – WAXING / WAX TREE
The resin model is soldered onto the main stem, a process called “treeing”. The tree is weighed so that the amount of metal required to cast the tree can be calculated.
Step # 5– CASTING
Casting is a very complex process and requires the utmost skilled and experienced casters for the desired final product. In simplified terms, the wax tree is placed in steel flask which is then occupied with a slurry of chemical powder which solidifies in an hour. The flask is then heated in an electric furnace which melts the resin tree leaving behind a cavity of your piece. Molten metal is then poured into the flasks, allowed to cool, then demolished to reveal the jewellery in cast form.
Step # 6 – GRINDING
Once the raw casting is removed from the casting tree, it has a tiny nub leftover at a place where it was attached to the tree. This nub is ground off using a motorised grinding machine, which acts as an abrasive to smooth the surface of the gold piece. Final polishing is then done by holding the piece against a spinning grinding wheel to achieve a smooth surface.
Step # 7 – POLISHING
Polishing involves three steps, tumbling, pre-polishing, and ultra-cleaning. Jewellery pieces with diamonds require pre-polishing before the diamond is set. This is because once the diamonds are set the area below the diamond portion cannot be polished and may affect the shine of the diamond.
- STONE SETTING -
2 - 3 weeks
Step # 8 – STONE SETTING
Stone setting is the art of securely setting or attaching gemstone into the polished cast, ensuring the perfect balance and positioning of the stone/s.
Step #9 – PLATING
If your piece is white gold it will be plated in Rhodium to give it a bright white finish.
Step #10 – POLISHING
This is the final polish of the piece of jewellery. Polishing is done after setting of stones and it can be done either by hand or by machine. In polishing, the idea is to add shine to the entire piece of jewellery.
Step # 11 – QUALITY CONTROL
Quality control is our final set of procedures that ensure that our manufactured product adheres to our strict set of quality criteria. There are three different methods of quality control inspection which includes include measurement, visual inspection and mechanical inspection.