The Creative Process

Before I even started designing and making jewellery I was fascinated by the creative and production process that went into making a delicate piece of jewellery – wanting to understand how all the components came together resulting in beautiful creations to be coveted.

At By Leahy, storytelling sits at the core of everything. The brand started with a special story shared by my grandparents and each item of handmade and personalised jewellery has captured its own story before it exits the bench.

Below is the story of how each of the Signature Envelope Necklaces is created – how a block of wax can turn into a beautiful piece of fine jewellery to last through the generations.

By Leahy Fine Jewellery Signature Envelope Necklace Making Process

Once I finalised the design of the Signature Envelope, I took a block of wax and hand-carved the design until it formed a 3D shape.

This resulted in the master carving made up of the three parts of the Envelope – the body, lid and inner slip. Shown above are the carving tools used to meticulously develop this intricate design. The model is about 1mm thin, extremely delicate, and prone to melting in the hand if held for too long! 

By Leahy Fine Jewellery Signature Envelope Necklace Blog

Once the wax carving was perfected, the next step was to test how it translated to a metal model. The wax carving was used to create a mould, called the Master. This process, known as the lost-wax method, dates from the 3rd millennium BC and has sustained few changes since then. The above image shows two Masters - one holds the body of the Envelope and the other shows the lid and inner slip. 

From the Master mould the metal model was produced. In the image above you’ll see the base and lid, below the blue wax, in its raw cast state. This raw cast is then taken to the bench and filed, sanded, buffed, and polished by hand until it is ready to be assembled onto its chain. 

By Leahy Fine Jewellery Signature Envelope Necklace making tools Blog

Many tools are used to bring the raw cast to the final high-polish. Above are the core tools that act as my reliable buddies throughout the finessing process, along with the files that helped to work the raw cast, below.

By Leahy Fine Jewellery Signature Envelope Necklace and Files Blog

This sterling silver Signature Envelope Necklace is nearly ready to exit the bench.

The very last stage in the process is the personal engraving. By Leahy is unique in that customers can engrave the front and back, and the only limitation is how much can practically fit on the slip, while still being legible!

Engraving is complimentary irrespective of your engraving request – with the exception of the Bespoke Service which is a super special selection. I love receiving new engraving requests and, to date, I'm delighted that I've been able to say yes to all queries.

By Leahy Blog from the bench Signature Envelope Necklace sterling silver

If you have any enquiries on the above, email me on or find me behind the @ByLeahy handle on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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