Emmy MacKenzie, The Jeweler at Work

Wax Carving
Detailed wax carving requires magnification.
Here are some pictures of me at work. Often, so-called custom handmade jewelry involves a factory-made wax, or factory-made components soldered together. For me, handmade jewelry is really handmade! I do all the work myself, from carving the wax and casting, or fabricating components, to stone-setting, and finishing.
I use magnification to carve details into the wax.
The Jeweler's Torch
Preheating a crucible with the torch.
I actually use two different torches. One is for fine work like soldering, and the other is for hotter work like melting metal.
Here, using the bigger torch, I am pre-heating a crucible before casting.
Melting gold prior to casting.
Here, the crucible is set up in the centrifugal casting machine, and I am melting gold prior to casting.
It's essential to get the metal just the right temperature without overheating it. Too long under the torch may cause oxidation which can result in porosity in the finished piece. Not long enough under the torch, and the metal may not completely fill the cavity in the plaster, causing defects in the piece.
Finish Work
Finish work with hand tools.
My finishing bench. I hand-finish all my work using a variety of hand tools including saws, files, gravers, and so on.
When I need to fabricate a setting or make a special finding, this is where I work.
Again, to get the clean look of a professionally finished piece, I always use magnification. It's the small details that make a difference in quality.
Detailed hand polishing.
Hand polishing at the polishing machine. Polishing is often tedious, but the results are always fabulous.