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. Chains + findings are sourced from the United States or Italy.
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. I use a local Colorado casting partner.
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 commercial 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 I looked back in time for a gentler option - locally sourced beeswax. A very small step towards nature. I hope it brings you a sense of calm to trace your jewelry back to its roots - beginning with Colorado wildflowers and buzzing bees.
Hello! I'm Jess, the designer and maker behind Mirage Metals. I grew up collecting rocks, at times giving them googlie eyes and cardboard-box homes. 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 quickly captivated by the intricate processes that brought life to a seemingly rigid material. It was exciting to have found an art form that aligned with my love of natural stones, so I stuck with it. I have continued to learn about new tools and techniques, and love exploring ideas on a smaller scale through handmade jewelry & object design.