This year I've introduced a some new heart designs, so I thought I'd show you a few of the processes involved in making them...

First, I'll make a rough sketch which I use to create a wax model...

The first hearts, or masters, are made using the delft clay casting method.  The wax mould is pressed into the clay to create a hollow form.  Then a funnel is carved into the clay and airholes to allow the air to escape.  One of the best reasons to use the delft clay method is that you can recycle your scrap silver.  The silver is heated up in a crucible and once molten, it's poured into the funnel.

Once it has cooled you get to see if it's worked, if so, the sprues are cut off, then there's lots and lots of filing, sanding, and polishing to get the hearts looking perfect, before adding bails or drill holes.

These masters are then sent off to the casters who can make lots of pieces at once.  When they arrive back from the casters the rough castings are filed and polished.  Any piece weighing over 7.78 grams will need to be sent off the London Assay Office for hallmarking and then can finally become whatever piece of jewellery it is meant to be!