From Concept to creation

From Concept to Creation, Karen describes the process of how C.W. James jewellery is designed and created 

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