HAND CRAFTED JEWELRY
Gogo & Hannah's lifestyle is the main part of their creative process. Regular morning, afternoon and evening beach walks travelling the shoreline and hiking through the wilderness are the main activities that everything else revolves around. Nature has perfected her designs over millions of years and the only improvement Gogo & Hannah can make is to transform and cast them into wearable art. Wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry cast from the spirit of an animal bone or an ancient shell is that reconnection with nature Gogo & Hannah are deeply passionate about communicating in their new creations. Once enough gifts have been gathered, educational and creative conversations turn into small sketches containing notes about proposed precious stones and casting materials. One of the recurring themes is that the entire piece of jewelry down to the band, strap, fixing or setting should be entirely natural and organic and therefore thoroughly Gogo. So much so that it faithfully preserves the soul of the creature or plant that inspired it. The next step is to send the finds along with sketches and notes to our fantastic lost wax caster. Huge importance is placed upon getting the details of the original replicated exactly.
Lost wax castings have been used for centuries, as none of the intricacies and details of the object are lost. The details from the natural forms that are used in the jewelry are completely preserved in this process, and the transformation from the wild to the finished product cast in gold, silver and alpaca not only retains the integrity of its natural beauty, it takes it to a new level of adornment. Lost-wax casting is the process by which a metal (such as silver, gold, brass or bronze) sculpture is cast from an artist's sculpture. Intricate works can be achieved by this method, primarily depending on the carver's skills. Metal casting began in India (now Pakistan) around 3500 BC in the Mohenjo-Daro area, which produced earliest known lost-wax casting, the Indian bronze figurine named the dancing girl that dates back nearly 5,000 years to the Harappan period.
Other names for the process include "lost mould," which recognizes that other materials besides wax can be used, including tallow, resin, tar, and textile and "waste wax process" or "waste mould casting", because the mould is destroyed to unveil the cast item.Other methods of casting include open casting, bivalve mould, and piece mould. Lost-wax casting was widespread in Europe until 18th century, when a piece-mold process came to predominate.
The methods used for Gogo jewelry vary a bit from those used for sculpture. A wax is obtained, either from injection into a rubber mold, or it is custom-made in wax. Occasionally, a custom-made wax might be molded in rubber first as insurance against the loss of the unique wax and related labor costs incurred in carving it.
The wax or waxes are sprued and fused onto a rubber base, called a "sprue base". Then a metal flask, which resembles a short length of steel pipe that ranges roughly from 1.5 to six inches tall and wide, is put over the sprue base and the waxes. Most sprue bases have a circular rim, which grips the standard-sized flask, holding it in place. Investment (refractory plaster) is mixed and poured into the flask, filling it. It hardens, and then is burned out as outlined above. Casting is usually done straight from the kiln either by centrifugal casting or vacuum casting.
After many days of labor our caster will have prepared the prototype mold and then the first prototype piece (the metal). This is then shipped to the main store for further inspection. Usually the prototype goes back and forth a few times to get the design and the fit just right. Every so often it's perfect as it is and a friendly tussle ensues over who's going to wear it out that night.
The prototype piece is then sent back to and all further pieces are cast from it. The finished pieces are then sent to the main store for final quality checks before going on sale.