How Reclaimed Jewellery is Made
Making jewellery is one of the oldest professions. Precious metals and gemstones were worked into beautiful pieces of jewellery to adorn the necks, wrists, fingers and ears of our ancestors thousands of years ago. And a beautiful piece of jewellery is just as fascinating to us as it was to our ancestors. The way jewellery is made, however, changed dramatically over time.
Today, most pieces of jewellery are machine made because the machines ensure precision and lower the costs of production. The production process involves the use of a pattern and repetition which in turn ensure that all pieces of jewellery look identical. To role of the jewellery artist mostly became limited to creation of the design for the machines and perhaps some minor end refinements. This, however, is not the case with reclaimed jewellery.
Every reclaimed jewellery artist has their own approach to making jewellery. But there are a few things they all have in common. They include:
Use of pre-industrial techniques of jewellery making. Rather than focusing on how to make jewellery production more automated, reclaimed jewellery artists stick to the ancient techniques and the art of hand-crafting. And since the latter require high level of skills and knowledge, the artist is actively involved in jewellery making process from the beginning to the end.
Unique designs. Since reclaimed jewellery is typically handmade, no two pieces look exactly the same even if the follow the same design.
Exclusivity. Because it is impossible to make tens or hundreds of pieces of jewellery identical by hand, reclaimed jewellery ensures exclusivity. As a result, you won’t meet another person wearing exactly the same piece of jewellery.
Unique character. Mass produced jewellery may look beautiful but it doesn’t have the character of the reclaimed counterpart. The latter reveals a high level of skill, dedication to perfection and passion for the art of jewellery making that simply isn’t there in the machine made pieces. This give it an additional value because in every piece, the artist leaves a little bit of himself or herself.
Use of old rather than new materials. In order for reclaimed jewellery to be defined as such, it must be made from old materials. Reclaimed precious metal is firstly separated from alloys and then worked into a new piece of jewellery. Mass produced jewellery can be made of reclaimed pieces of old jewellery too but it is usually made of a combination of both old and new materials.