The Creation of Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry
Hand engraving is a delicate art form that enables me to use precious metal as my canvas. There are various traditional engraving styles and over time each artist develops his own designs and techniques. The jewelry collection featured on Veizman.com is inspired by nature and reference the traditions of Victorian ornamental designs and American scrollwork.
Each one of my artisan jewelry designs starts as an abstract idea. I try to translate the basic concept into a sketch that I continuously refine till I get a precise pattern. The final sketch is reduced in size and transferred onto the metal with a piece of paper towel soaked in acetone. Next, I begin to engrave the miniature design under a microscope using a freehand engraving tool, powered by compressed air. I mount a shaped graver in the tool’s handpiece which delivers thousands of strokes per minute allowing me to meticulously engrave the jewelry design.
The technique I use to carve jewelry is called relief engraving which is one of the most exquisite forms of hand engraving. In this method the engraver carve the background in order to make the pattern appear above its surrounding surface. Once the background is sufficiently removed the foreground is carefully sculpted, giving the pattern a visible three dimensional look.
Engraving Unique Handmade Jewelry Designs
I begin the work of relief engraving by outlining the design with a square graver. The graver is tilted away from the pattern in order to protect the design from accidental cuts. The design is outlined repeatedly, making each cut deeper than the previous one. Once the pattern is fully outlined, I carefully remove the background with 0.3 and 0.5mm round burs. The use of burs allows me to remove metal from small areas where a graver would leave noticeable drag marks. For safety, I hold the rotary handpiece with both of my hands and carefully pull it toward me in short strokes.
Once the background is flat and the sidewalls are defined, I sculpt the design with flat gravers and complete the relief work with stippling. Stippling is the process of giving the engraved background a texture. My handcrafted jewelry is stippled with a circle punch, the punch impress a circle shaped texture into the background, creating a visual contrast between the sculpted pattern and the dotted background.
The jewelry piece is usually completed with flush set stones. Flush setting is a careful procedure in which the stone’s table is set slightly below the surface and “locked” into the metal with a burnisher (I use a graver with a rounded tip). As the graver pushes the metal onto the stone, a subtle polished rim is created around it, seamlessly integrating the stone and the engraving into one harmonious design.
Designer Jewelry Engraved & Carved
The process of jewelry hand engraving is a slow and demanding one, yet it is also deeply satisfying. With inspiration and determination I created this unique collection of original carved rings, handcrafted pendants, handmade gold earrings and engraved silver jewelry. These pieces are part of my journey to master the art of engraving by hand while mixing traditional craftsmanship with modern jewelry design.