What are the first steps for having a remakery commissioned?
The first step would be for you to fill in this form with some pictures of the existing jewellery attached (and info on the type of metal alloy/carat if possible) along with ideas of the sort of thing you might be wanting to get made just to give me a bit of an idea of possibilities and your aesthetic.
Every remakery is very dependent on the material I have to work with (things like chains and items with lots of solder joins can have an impact on what sort of designs will work). Then we start the conversation to see what’s possible with what you have and your budget etc.
Can you mix golds?
It’s possible to mix different carats of gold but I can’t hallmark the finished item. It’s not as straightforward to mix yellow and white gold together. I can also alloy down a higher carat gold into a lower one to increase the amount of material we have to work with. I can also alloy a high carat yellow gold to a creamy white gold.
Can you use white gold?
It depends. White gold can become brittle when melted and can crack. It makes it challenging to roll out and draw into wire. However, we can usually use elements/shapes (for example bands) to make new designs. We can also melt into small balls, and other shapes. Once I know what existing jewellery we have to work with, I can provide suggestions.
Can you work with people interstate?
Yes this is possible. With regards to ring sizes, I can send you a ring sizer for you to check your size if you don’t know it.
Once I’ve decided to go ahead, how does it work?
I clean the jewellery, break it up and remove as much solder as possible. Solder is the material used to join the small elements of your jewellery together to form the finished product. I clean any gemstones and then melt down the metal before making the new piece. You can see a video of a remakery – https://bridgetkennedy.com.au/jewellery-commissions-remakeries-repairs/
Why are organic more solid designs better?
We’re working with unrefined material so small inclusions or marks can occur in the metal. This is more common when using jewellery that had many solder joins, like chains etc. Also, often a piece of jewellery has an unknown history. It may have been worn often in chlorinated pools, which can cause metal to become brittle. The jewellery may have been made using the casting method, which often has elements of other materials in it to aid with the flow of metal. It may be made during a period in history when different metals were used to make the alloy (different carats of gold contain different percentages of gold plus other metals). All of these things can affect the quality of the materials we are working with. If we are working with simple gold bands which have only one solder join, the risk is much lower and we are more likely able to make something shiny and smooth for you. It’s possible to reduce this by adding about a third of new metal to the mix – but this is more costly to the planet (and your pocket) and I prefer not to do this.
How long does it take?
Generally about 6-8 weeks but sometimes longer or shorter depending on my workload and the jobs ahead of you in the queue. The months leading up to Christmas are the busiest so jobs can take longer during this time.