Making jewelry combines a few of Geoff’s favorite things: working with his hands, hammering metal, and playing with fire.
Gold and Silver
These are the most commonly used metals in jewelry for a reason. They are traditional, generally hypoallergenic (please contact us if you have specific allergies) and they are beautiful. Gold maintains its shine well over time, while silver will develop a patina if not cleaned.
Copper is a beautiful accent metal with many unique qualities. If sealed, it maintains a beautiful shine and is non reactive. Unsealed, copper develops a lovely patina with wear. Because copper can oxidize in reaction to the oils in your skin, we do not use it where close, tight contact with the skin is expected (for instance, in rings).
These are the workhorses in jewelry. Faceted stones are cut with a series of small flat faces (or facets) designed to catch light. Gems are available in a variety of cuts, each with unique properties. At Balliet Fine Jewelry we carefully match the stone to the individual piece of jewelry.
Cabochons are polished domed forms without facets. They provide a unique alternative to the more traditional faceted stones. We choose cabochons carefully and, whenever possible, in person to ensure quality and unique properties. Many faceted gems are also available as cabochons. One of my favorites is labradorite (pictured).
Casting is a time tested production method for jewelry. All of our casting is done in house on our own equipment. Casting involves making a mold and then filling the mold with molten metal, usually gold or silver. Casting enables us to create jewelry in virtually unlimited shapes.
This is the first step in casting – creating something to cast. I carve all our waxes by hand, and create the molds in house. Some waxes are used to create truly one of a kind pieces, and sometimes a model will be created for a limited run of similar pieces.
A unique finish option, hammering makes a piece look handmade an original. Because of the nature of hammering, no two pieces look exactly alike. When hammered silver and copper are allowed to patina over time, they develop a unique and rich look.