When we got through the various iterations in the wax carving process, I thought we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The post-casting process proved to be the real test of patience. Thankfully my enjoyment of the making process saw me through!
Once the cast is collected from the caster, it is in its most raw state. Sprinkled with clay and with layers of rough grain to be filed away, buffed, polished and perfected, means this part of the process is the biggest labour of love.
The hinges are clogged with clay and need to be delicately teased through; the sprues (the bits of metal that poke out) need to be filed off - enough that the excess metal is taken away but carefully enough so that it doesn't impact on the finish of the piece; every millimetre of surface needs to have the rough finish filed away, and after that there are various levels of additional filing, followed by additional polishing processes; and lastly there is the finishing buff and polish that gives each pieces its lovely shiny surface. In total, the very first piece took me about 8 hours, of love, to perfect. My desire to produce a piece by hand that didn’t look handmade meant that attention to detail and the finish was key.
On the little note, I wanted the edges soft and rounded so it felt beautiful and tactile in your hand. The envelope itself had to be functional, robust and cleanly finished. The more I worked on the piece, the more I realised that the little quirks which that “made-by-hand” brings are actually quite charming. I haven’t sacrificed the high polish finish but I’ve embraced the uniqueness of each piece, just like each story behind each piece is unique.