WHAT IS FABRICATION?
Fabrication is the technique of creating and joining components using a variety of techniques to form a three dimensional shape.
The traditional hand manufacturing techniques mentioned below are used to complete a piece of Jewellery. These techniques are often referred to as "Fine Jewellery Techniques".
The skills of a Jeweller
Traditionally the jeweller uses hand tools specific to the jewellery industry on various types of metal such as flat sheet, wire or tube.
Componets are made by using traditional techniques such as:
... and many others. Some of these techniques can also be used to provide decorative effects.
Usually the jeweller will solder the components to join them together.
Other techniques such as Laser Welding, Cold Fixing and Riveting are also an option for the jeweller, depending on the design and the chosen metal or material.
Jewellery can also be created from a combination of components that have been traditionally fabricated and those that have been cast.
The skills of a Silversmith
The Silversmith may also use other methods of fabricating such as Pressing, Spinning, Folding, Forging and Laser Welding to form objects.
They can also fabricate by using some of the techniques used by jewellers but they mainly use specialist techniques to make items such as:
Regalia & military items such as medals
Religious artifacts such as chalices
Typically the Silversmith uses specialist traditional fabrication techniques which involves raising flat sheet metal into a three dimensional item.
Traditionally mallets and hammers are used to form the metal wooden blocks and then on metal stakes, using techniques such as Blocking, Raising and Planishing, Soldering and Annealing.
Silversmiths can also use the same decorative techniques as the jeweller and may also add stones to objects.
The Jeweller can also fabricate components from models which they make from carving wax.
A finished wax carving is called a Model which can be Cast into a 3D metal shape to become your Master Model for replication.
This process is called Rapid Prototyping.
Jewellers can also design complete or part pieces of jewellery using CAD (Computers Aided Design)
Computer design files are used by commercial 3D printing machines to produce layer upon layer of a resin like material that eventually create the design in 3D - this model can then be used to create a master model for suitable for casting metal items.