The Jewellery Making Process

Jewellery designer and molecular biologist  Aurora Lombardo combines traditional silversmithing, glass fusing & ceramic bead making techniques with a contemporary aesthetic to create jewellery that is unique, well made and easy to wear.

            Designs are inspired by the wonderful interplay between colours, patterns and textures found in nature and are individually handcrafted by the Italian artist in her Cambridgeshire studio.

            Glass Fusing

             Aurora uses colourful art glass and dichroic to create handmade, unique, kiln fused glass jewellery and wall art

            Dichroic Glass

            Dichroic glass consists of a base coloured glass which has been coated with thin films of metallic oxides to selectively reflect and transmit wavelengths of light. The results is a glass displaying a wonderful, iridescent play of colors. The unique qualities of dichroic glass make it work brilliantly in jewellery. The color changes with its environment and viewing angle creating dynamic, wearable art.

            The Fusing Process

            Each dichroic glass jewel is an original unique creation completely hand worked. In a time intensive process, the glass is cut to shape, the pieces are combined in several layers and then fired a number of times in a high temperature kiln to produce some stunning colour combinations and shimmering effects. Once fused the glass is ground to shape and fired once more to achieve the final polished finish.

            Due to the handmade nature of the glass, no two pieces are ever quite the same so you can be sure you’re wearing something unique.

            The metalwork is kept very simple to let the beauty of the glass speak for its-self. Pieces range from small delicate pendants to large bold ones, sure to be noticed.

            Ceramic & Porcelain

            All the ceramic beads, buttons and components used in Aurora’s jewellery are made by her in her Cambridgeshire studio. Each ceramic bead is an original unique creation completely hand worked. It is a lengthy process, but it’s very rewarding.

            The shaping and the forming

            Depending on the final effect desired, Aurora uses a variety of different porcelain bodies. Porcelain is the best type of clay to use for jewellery because of its refined quality. It is smooth, pure and becomes very hard after being fired at 1260 degrees.

            Porcelain bead making  is a long process which requires diligence and patience. After shaping and texturing, the beads are allowed to air dry for a day or so and then slowly bisque fired to a temperature of above 1000 degrees Celsius over a period of 8-9 hour

            The Glazing

            Once the pieces have been bisque fired in the kiln, they go through a round of inspection and get cleaned up for glazing. During this phase the ceramic components are painted, one-at-a-time, using a combination of lead-free reactive glazes and multilayering. All the glazing  is hand-applied with small, sweeping brush strokes.

            Albeit a lengthy process of applying layer upon layer, combination glazing can add beautiful depth and color to the beads. Often the top color will slide down the first, or the colors will intermix and result in a stricking variegated effect.

            Once glazed, the beads are then left to dry for a day or so, and finally high fired one more time to allow the colours to develop fully and to further strengthen the beads.

            After the second kiln firing,  Aurora often add beautiful details in gold or platinum  lustre to her porcelain jewellery.

            A third kiln firing at 750 degrees centigrade is the next step in order to set the gold lustre.

            The Assembling

            In the last phase, when a jewellery piece finally come together, creativity really takes the front seat.

            Now it is the time to choose among a variety of stringing materials, components and other metal elements, the ones that can complement the porcelain pieces most effectively.

            An exhilarating process during which new, unconventional combinations of shapes, colors and materials are born.

            Precious Metal Jewellery

             A collection of contemporary precious metal jewellery designs made from  .925 sterling silver  and .999 pure silver with highlights of 9ct and 18ct gold. This range of limited edition handmade jewellery includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and bangles. Larger jewellery pieces, weighting 7.8g or more, are independently assayed and hallmarked at the Birmingham Assay Office and bear Aurora Lombardo’s own maker’s mark.

            Bespoke Science Inspired  Art & Jewellery

            Drawing on her background in biology, Aurora also produce a unique range of one-off, science inspired jewellery pieces.  She hand fabricates them from sterling silver using traditional metalsmithing techniques and enriches them with 24ct gold highlights, using the ancient Korean technique called keum-boo.

            Below are a few examples of some of the developmental Biology inspired pieces created by Aurora over the recent years.

            If you are passionate about science and are looking for a meaningful science-related item of jewellery, do get in touch. Aurora enjoys working to a design brief and budget to help create the perfect colleague leaving present.

            Producing a bespoke, handmade piece of jewellery based on the recipient’s specialisms is an opportunity to create a completely unique, personal and meaningful gift.

            Precious Metal Clay

            Precious Metal Clay or PMC, consist of fine particles of pure metal (silver or gold) held together with an organic binder. The clay can be shaped, carved and moulded like a normal clay, but when it is fired in a kiln, the binder burns away leaving a 99.9% pure silver creation