Featured Shop: Melanie Casey Fine Jewelry, New England
Tuesday 1st December, 2015
WE FIRST INTRODUCED Melanie of Melanie Casey Fine Jewelry in the Fall of 2013, and now, two years later, Melanie has a new husband, a new name (and business name), and is about to open a brand new showroom in Massachusetts. She has also introduced a new fine jewelry line, filled with diamonds and rose gold and morganite statement rings in the most magical shade of palest pink.
Melanie’s designs are inspired by a love of antique heirloom jewelry and the beautiful stones she finds. Melanie still designs and makes everything by hand in her studio just outside of Boston, using the organic, mindful process of hand sculpting each piece from wax and casting them into 14k gold. Today, she gives us glimpse of what she has been up to lately, as well as giving us a little insight into her design & creative process . . .
“The wax material I use is similar to candle wax, but less brittle. It is bright blue, for no explainable reason that I know of! The wax is melted together and scraped away to create a form, or injected into a mold so that it takes on a specific shape.
My wax carving process is quite organic and fluid, and I combine many techniques that I have learned over the years to achieve my final designs. I usually start by laying the gemstones out on a flat surface, and play with the orientation until things fall into place. Then, I work from largest to smallest, adding each setting to the ring band in wax. The settings are individually customized to the particular gemstone. If a gemstone is a large focus of the ring, the setting will be made with more material for durability. If the stone is a small accent, then a shallow setting will be made for comfort reasons. The design gets pieced together one bit at a time, and through the entire process, I am carefully adding and taking away wax over and over again.
Once the piece is completed in wax, there is still a long process to bring it to a final finished design. The wax is sent out to be cast into gold, and when I receive it back, there is quite a mess to clean up! We typically use a jewelers saw blade to cut of all of the excess gold at the base of the ring, called a sprue. Then, we file and grind away layers of metal until the ring is smooth. If ring resizing is required, we also do that at this point. Then, we use fine grit sanding tools to slowly bring the metal from a raw finish to a polish. And finally, the stones are set.” —Melanie Casey
“All of my best life decisions have been made with my gut, and that certainly includes my choice to venture into the rocky world of jewelry. My business is a reflection of the passion I’ve always had for creating. In truth, I would be designing jewelry even if it wasn’t my job, and I’m just really lucky to have had this opportunity.”
—Melanie Casey, whose career began in the finance industry