Every piece that I create for Yuliya C Jewellery is handmade by me in my shared Toronto studio on Queen West.
Usually the creating process starts with an inspiration or a thought that reminds me of something specific. I draw most of my daily inspiration from nature, art, fashion and travelling. Maybe its the colours of the fresh fruit I saw on the streets of Cartahena while in Colombia or that contrast of the calm water against rocky shores of northern Ontario, inspiration comes unannounced but I always welcome it with open arms!
If I am creating a custom piece the process is a bit more managed as it's a collaborative effort between me and the client. But when it comes to the making process, is usually goes through very similar stages.
1) Selecting Stones
Stone selection a lot of the times is the first thing that needs to happen. Either its a custom project or a new piece for my stock, selecting the right stone for the right piece is very important.
2) Wax Carving
When i know which stones will be used in the piece I start carving a wax model that will be an exact replica of the final piece. I use an assortment of files and carving tools to build these mini sculptures that will become jewellery. I use a lot of raw and uncut stones in my work so wax carving has become my main and favorite way of creating settings for those one of a kind stones.
3) Cleaning Castings
Once the wax model has been cast into a metal version of it I proceed to cleaning it. This usually entails me cutting off some unneeded beets that are left behind from casting, filing, sanding, and sometimes re-shaping the piece to make sure every angle and stone will be in it's right place.
Sometimes the piece requires a combination of making processes where a setting is cast but the band is fabricated from metal stock and soldered together to create a ring. Soldering is essentially a binding process that requires a skilled technique and knowledge of metal properties to achieve that flawless execution.
5) Stone Setting
After the piece of jewellery is put together and cleaned I set the stones. I like setting my own stones especially if they are in raw form. It is somewhat of a meditation. I get to decide on the embellishments and play with the finished look.
A final touch in the process is polishing to give the piece that sparkle. Depending on the piece, some will be matt finished, some left hammered, but there are always parts that need a nice high polish.