Conception to Creation

July 20, 2018

balsa wood jewellery prototypes

"How do you create your jewellery?" It is one of the questions I get asked the most. After years of studying and working as a designer, the process is so familiar to me I forget that it might be of interest. In fact, many days I have to suppress my brain from creating so that I can focus on running other areas of the business. So here it is - picture heavy and word light.

1. Thumbnail sketches of ideas that pop into my head. This is my starting point. I fill many sketch books with my scribbles. I do these sketches in the bath, before falling asleep, and at other unconventional and inappropriate moments.

C.W. James jewellery sketches in sketchbook

C.W.James jewelry thumbnail sketches

2. The next step is to move on to what I call 3D sketching. I take the thumbnail sketches that I like the most and evolve the ideas using quick modelling methods like carving balsa wood or clay.

C.W. James jewelry clay models

C.W. James jewellery balsa wood models

3. Next the 3D metal forms are finalised in wax. Using the ancient process of lost wax casting, a wax model is used to make a master so that a mould can be created to make multiples of the same part. At the same time, technical CAD drawings are being developed for the leather straps to ensure that straps and the metal parts fit together.

Selene bracelet C.W. James jewellery CAD drawing

4. The metal parts cast from the mould are polished.

C.W. James jewellery recycled sterling silver parts

5. Colours are selected and materials, like vintage leather straps and Swarovski crystals, are sourced.

C.W. James jewellery hand construction work in progress

6. Each C.W. James piece is then assembled in my studio on Australia's Great Ocean Road.

C.W.James leather bracelets handmade in Australia

C.W. James Selene choker handmade in Australia jewellery leather

7. So there it is. The finished C.W. James Selene choker

C.W. James Selene choker leather jewellery made in Australia


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Journal

3,000 Year-old Eyeliner
3,000 Year-old Eyeliner

November 21, 2018

Take a peek into an ancient Egyptian beauty box.

View full article →

C.W. James in Cosmo
C.W. James in Cosmo

August 10, 2018

The Freya bracelet can be seen on the wrist of the gorgeous Jade Tuncdoruk on the September cover of Cosmopolitan.

View full article →

The beauty of things
The beauty of things

May 04, 2018

Campaign inspiration from the 17th century.

View full article →