How MFF Jewelry Is Made
Every piece in the Mary Frances Flowers collection begins in wax or natural form, for example, oyster shell. Most pieces begin as a blank slate and created by the process referred to as, "the build up wax" technique.
The build up wax technique uses a block of jeweler’s wax and an electric heat pen tool. The heat pen is dipped into the block of wax causing the melted wax to drop into a form called a mandrel, which is essentially a steel bar in the shape of a person’s wrist. The wax hardens almost immediately and can be continually layered. This process is continued until the design is complete.
The lost wax casting technique involves a material called investment, an oven, a flask, and extremely hot metal. First, the wax design is placed inside a flask that is then filled with liquid investment. The investment is a similar substance to cement in that it hardens within a few hours. Once the investment has fully hardened around the design, the flask is put into an oven and the wax melts away, leaving a cavity in the hardened investment in the shape of the original wax design. Now that the cavity has completely emptied of the original wax, hot, melted metal is pushed into the cavity with severe force and speed causing the metal to fill every millimeter of the cavity. The liquified metal hardens inside the investment within a few minutes. The hardened investment is quickly broken away from the metal inside using a solvent, and your beautiful jewelry is now a treasure that can last a lifetime.
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