Hand Sculpted Gold Jewelry
Artist's boldly crafted and colorful jewelry is informed by a background in sculpting and painting.
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In 1977, John Biagiotti was working in sculpting and painting when two friends asked, begged, forced him into creating their wedding rings. When he received kudos for those, as well as requests for more from other people, he realized that this was a path he should follow.
John works with 14k and 18k gold and platinum, along with precious and semiprecious jewels. His work is very angular and sculptural. He fashioned a handmade ring for us in gold that is more like wearable art than jewelry. John uses the color, cut or texture of a precious or semiprecious stone to influence the design of a piece. He buys the stones from a supplier after examining many choices until he finds one that really catches his eye.
He begins the jewelry piece by picking the unique gemstone that will determine the design. The stone is laid into the center of a wax blank, which is precisely hand-carved around the stone to create the face of the ring. This will be a highly detailed master, which can take days to get just right. The wax is used to make a plaster mold, which is heated until the wax melts out. Gold is melted and then poured through special points that were built into the mold to allow for the metal to fill the mold.
After the mold has cooled, the ring is removed and any excess metal from the pour points is trimmed off. The ring then goes through a many-layered process of filing, sanding, sandblasting and polishing. The inlaid stone is then cut and glued in, and the gem that will be above the inlaid stone is set. During the stone work, the ring goes through repeated hand-polishing processes to keep it in proper condition.
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