Behind the Workbench at Elaina Designs
Many may wonder what happens “behind the scenes” at Elaina Designs. Lainey specializes in designing one-of-a-kind jewelry tailored to her customers’ desires. Some clients wish to “upcycle” old jewelry into more contemporary designs, while others come to Lainey with requests to create something new for a special occasion. Whatever the case, after establishing her client’s specifications and budget to finalize the design, the manufacturing process begins. This can take several weeks to months depending on the complexity of the design.
Elaina Designs craftspeople utilize the following manufacturing techniques to execute designs. Our creations are never commercially stamped out or mass-produced. We take pride in offering atelier master craftsmanship in every piece of jewelry we produce.
Our Manufacturing Techniques
Fabrication incorporates the use of metal to form wire and sheets into intricate forms of jewelry. The hand techniques include drawing wire, sawing sheet, filing and sanding, forging with hammers, forming and texturing with hand tools, and using either oxygen/propane or acetylene to solder with an open flame. Often there is only a breath between the success of a soldered joint and a puddle of melted metal.
Restyle, Redesign, Green Style or Upscale Jewelry
These terms refer to remaking your old jewelry, not just by reusing the stones and melting down the metal, but by sawing apart interesting sections and reapplying them in unexpected ways. These component parts are then hinged or soldered together to create an amazing personal story written in precious metal and gems. Click here to view a video explaining how this bracelet was designed.
The cost of materials is a large part of the budget in custom work. We recognize the rising expense of gold not only economically, but environmentally, so every attempt is made to use it in a resourceful and efficient manner. Thus, clients have the benefit of getting the most out of their investment in an Elaina Designs custom order. The creative combination of the following precious metals offset the rising prices of gold.
Gold: 24Karat or 22Karat, different alloys of gold color available in 18KT or 14KT Yellow, White, Rose or Pink, Green or Apricot Gold, Natural Placer Gold Nuggets from the Yukon Territory and Alaska and Vermeil (gold-plated silver or brass).
White Metals: Platinum or Palladium (a white metal that is less expensive, but in the Platinum Family), Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, and Argentium.
Browse through the Elaina Designs Gallery and you’ll immediately notice the unique stones used in Lainey’s work. She has extensive knowledge of gems and pearls and maintains close relationships with dealers all over the world. Many of Lainey’s loyal customers depend on her keen eye to find the perfect stone to complement the nuanced appearance and personality of each wearer. Click here to view the gallery of recent custom work.
CAD/CAM (Computer Assisted Drawing and/or Manufacture.)
This more modern technique for rendering jewelry utilizes a computerized program that Architects and Mechanical Engineers use. It requires a skilled technician who can manipulate hundreds of tiny lines that reflect metal tolerance in micro-millimeters and stone settings. What emerges from the drawing is a 3-D template for carving the image from a solid chunk of gold, silver, or platinum inside a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine. Certain, complex designs require this type of manipulation, but the same effect can also be achieved if done by a Master Goldsmith, as has been done for centuries, using fabrication.