How silver beads are created...
...it all starts with an idea.
DESIGNING SILVER JEWELRY BEADS
Some designers prefer to design on paper, others are fonder of modern techniques, like using 3D programmes. After any design has been envisioned, all silver beads are crafted by the 3,000-year-old technique ‘cire perdu’ or ‘lost wax’. This method allows for fine details to be reproduced from wax to precious metals.
Silver is an element. It is a supple metal that is softer than gold. Silver can be polished to a mirror-like shine. The characteristic lightness of the color is due to the metal’s very effective light-reflecting properties. Trollbeads are produced in Sterling silver, consisting of 92,5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, primarily copper. Therefore, all Trollbeads silver beads are stamped with the hallmark “LAA 925s”. LAA stand for Lise Aagaard, and 925s is a guarantee given by the company that the material used is 92,5% Sterling silver. If silver was used without the addition of other materials, the silver would be too soft for jewelry. Furthermore, it wouldn’t oxidize.
CIRE PERDUE - WORKING WITH WAX
When designing a silver bead by the cire perdue technique, the design is first sculptured in red wax. The next step is to attach the model to a wax rod, on which it rests during the casting process, which begins with a plaster model. The wax rod is melted on the plaster model using a heated needle. The plaster model is attached to a cylindrical mold into which plaster is poured. Once the plaster has set, it is heated in an oven that melts the wax away. Now there is a hole in the plaster model which has the same shape as the wax beads that have melted away.
NEXT STEPS - FROM WAX TO PLASTER THEN SILVER
Next, silver granules are then heated in a small bowl, melted and poured into the plaster cast, filling out the model. When the silver has solidified, the plaster is submerged in water, resulting in the plaster to disintegrate and the silver figure can be removed. At this point, the figure is completely black. It is then dipped in an acid bath and turns white. When the silver bead has cooled off, it is rinsed, renovated, polished.
Trollbeads use oxidization for our silver beads to create contrast effects and to give them character. Any piece of jewelry will oxidize if it lies in a box for years. Our process of oxidization is just like the natural tarnish process that air has on silver, but we accelerate the process. Oxidization adds new design possibilities and enables the designers to give the beads a unique look and a lot of depth. The silver beads are dipped in an oxidizing solution, which turns the bead black without damaging the surface. The black deposit is then polished off in a tumbler except in the folds and corners where the polisher cannot reach. The surface of the bead is left shiny with dark corners, giving the beads character and the signature Trollbeads look. When the oxidized beads are ready, they are polised again and dried in sawdust.
Voilá: A new bead is born, created from craftsmanship perfected through generations.