Monday, 3 pm.
Silvio sits at the wax bench. I ask why he uses a different bench for wax carving, thinking that perhaps a second bench comes in handy when one is busy with works in progress. But that is not the main reason.
“There are metal filings on the other bench. I want to keep the wax away from that so small metal pieces do not contaminate the wax,” explains Silvio. It makes perfect sense, of course. The workspace is as much a part of the process as the materials and techniques and I imagine jewelers learn this with experience, from trial and error.
Perhaps a great master tells them. Some immediately see the merit of the observation. “You want to carve your wax on a different surface from where you do your other work,” knowingly points out the master. Then it is a matter of temperament too. Other young and eager pupils may think this is merely one of the master’s idiosyncrasies and disregard the instructions the moment the he is not looking.
What has Silvio learned the hard way? I wonder. Let’s ask him next time.
Meanwhile, let the carving begin. A picture of the Porter Farm barn and surroundings sits within sight on the bench to provide the guidelines for the scene to carve around the wedding band, which will be carved in such a way as to allow Crystal’s engagement ring to fit snuggly against it.
“Her engagement ring is platinum. The wedding band will be made out of 14 karat red gold. It is red because of the copper contents,” explains Silvio.