Mirage Metals is a collection of jewelry and homewares inspired by the ever-evolving textures and shapes of our planet. With a background in interior design, I love to explore the relationships between people, objects, and the spaces around us. I believe in the power of handmade pieces to bring an intangible sense of wonder to everyday life.
meet the maker
Hello! I'm Jess, the designer and maker behind Mirage Metals. I grew up collecting rocks, at times adding googly eyes and making cardboard box homes for them. Without thinking much of it, I began working at a crystal shop while I was in college for interior design & architecture. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by giant amethyst towers and quartz-encrusted geodes, and my love of rocks was rekindled. I craved a change from my computer-centered coursework, so in my last year of school I enrolled in a metalsmithing class. I was captivated by the processes that brought life to a seemingly rigid material and excited to have found an art form that aligned with my love of natural stones. Since then I have continued to learn about new tools and techniques, and now explore ideas on a smaller scale through handmade jewelry & object design.
how it's made
Fabrication refers to the manipulation of metal through a range of techniques including sawing, filing, hammering, soldering, sanding, and polishing. Hand fabricated pieces begin as simple metal sheets and various wires & tubing. Any premade chains or findings are sourced from the United States or Italy.
Through fire, grit, and force, I transform these raw materials into wearable works of art,
ready to be woven into the special moments and daily routines of your life.
Lost Wax Casting
This ancient process is the closest thing to magic that I've ever witnessed. Through a series of fiery steps, a temporary mold is poured around a model, the model is burned away, and molten metal pours into the cavity, filling into the shape of the original model. Once cooled, the metal can be sanded and polished, or integrated into a more complex design.
While it's nothing new, I've opted to use beeswax as the modeling material for cast pieces. The modern jeweler has access to a vast array of specialty waxes, made in different hardnesses for different purposes, like a soft wax which can be injected molds or a hard wax designed for carving. They exist for good reasons, but unfortunately these waxes are petroleum-based - meaning they are a form of plastic. While it is certainly not the largest environmental concern in the jewelry world, I looked back in time for a gentler option. Beeswax allows you to support pollinators over plastics. I hope it brings you a sense of calm to trace your jewelry back to its roots - beginning with Colorado wildflowers and buzzing bees.