For those of you who haven't read parts one and two, please read them first so you can appreciate the whole story. You can find them at the following links
Elinor called me on Friday with the exciting news that the sliver work had come back from the hall markers; could I pop over to shoot the final part of the story so she could have the piece ready for Valentines?
It felt providential as this was a story about love. The love of a jeweller; the reinvention of a loved piece of jewellery, and my love as a photographer, feeling that photographic stories can say more than my simple words. Getting this all ready for Valentines, a day devoted to love.
It was agreed that Elinor would set three of the most difficult stones. It was important that she concentrated on them to ensure they were set without problems, and as small as I am, hovering with a lens can be added pressure that delicate work doesn't need. So when I arrived I found Elinor prepping to set the final stones.
It was the little things that caught my eye. The fact the clamp had specific places where Elinor put it for different needs during the process. The use of a hair dryer (and I thought this was the sole area of hair dressers and photographers...) The use of blue-tack to help position and reposition the stones. All of these things showed the love this lady has for her work.
Elinor puts the silver piece on to what looks like grey plasticine, but is in fact called "Thermo Loc" or the common name is called "setters cement".
The hair dryer is used to soften it enough to allow the pendant to be held so that the stones can be added and set in place.
Using much loved and well worn tools, such as this Bezel Pusher, she begins to secure the stones into place. Attention to detail doesn't come close to the care that Elinor shows when she's doing this work
This mushroom shaped tool, a Bezel Roller, continues the setting, bending the silver over tighter to hold the stones in their mounts. There's a sense of things really coming together with every tiny little tap of the hammer.
I smiled when Elinor told me that one of her specialist pieces of equipment is a piece of a tooth brush. Part of the experience that a jeweller picks up is the knowledge that some stones are so big, or fragile, or both, that the normal commercial tools means there's an increased risk of danger of damaging the stones. It is assumed that a jeweller will find their own "specialist" tools that are suited to specific jobs. I have to say, it worked a treat and seemed a reasonably natural choice. After an intense period of tapping the stones are secure and you can see that the piece is going to look stunning. It is this attention to detail that separates Elinor from her peers.
Once the stones are set you can see that the edges need to be smoothed. Traditionally a jeweller uses a horn shaped tool called a Burnisher. With small repetitive movements, the sliver is smoothed and finished to a high quality. This is a hugely time consuming way to finish a very intricate piece of jewellery, so Elinor chooses to use her years of experience to finish the piece using more up to date methods.
We talked at length about the decision to use the polishing wheels. She tells me that it would only be with years of experience that she would ever consider this as an option to finish a piece. it is a true reflection of her skills that she finishes this piece in this method and it looks stunning.
Putting the final polish on the piece, it's almost ready for the client.
Isn't it stunning.
From these simple pieces of raw silver, through the design skills of this very talented young lady, to the final piece, this really has been a truly inspiring journey to capture.
If you want to see more of Elinor Cambray's work, please go along to her website
Or you can visit her at Fisherton Mill, 108 Fisherton Street, Salisbury, SP2 7QY