Carving Jade requires a very specific skill set.
The following is our process for creating our unique one of a kind pieces.
All of our tools for cutting and grinding are made out of synthetic diamond, and are used with water at all times. Water plays the role of lubricant between the tool and the stone, and also catches the dust that grinding and cutting can produce.
Our stone, Jade, is composed of 2 minerals tremolite and actinolite, which are essentially two types of Asbestos. It is therefore essential for us to keep the dust wet to work in a safe environment.
Learn more about the Jade.
The first step is cutting the raw material into a more workable size.
The stone is placed under an 18 inch saw to be cut into slabs of 1 to 3 cm thick (or bigger for sculptures)
Second step :
The general shape of future pendants or earrings is planned and drawn on the slab to optimise the use of the Jade.
The slab is then cut into smaller pieces on the trim saw.
Third step :
The piece that has been cut on the trim saw is then shaped on the grinder.
Here we grind away the excess of stone on an 80 grit grinding wheel, to give the piece its general/outside shape.
If it is a very simple form, it can be finished on the sanding wheel next to the grinding wheel. This wheel will give a smoother texture to the Jade.
Fourth step :
For the pieces with more detail we then use the Point Carver.
A Point Carver is a traditional Chinese carving method where you work with a tool on a fixed point and move the stone around it. On this tool you can attach a multitude of different 80 grit tools, in the shape of cylinders, spheres and pyramids on the scale that best fits the job.
If the piece does not require finer detailing, it will be sanded on the same point carver, on slower speed, with different barrels matching the sizes of the tool used for carving. The barrel will be wrapped in higher grits of diamond paper, to give a smooth finish to the Jade.
Fifth step :
The pieces requiring even more fine detailing are going to be worked with a hand piece.
The Handpiece is a rotating precision tool held in the hand like a pen, similar to what dentists would use. It has a collet allowing us to change the head for different burr shapes.
Like on the point carver, the handpiece burrs can be wrapped with sanding paper to give the small details a smooth finish.
Sixth step :
Regardless of how detailed a piece is, each will be sanded by hand with diamond paper, diamond pads or silicon carbide sticks (sanding sticks) for a more precise and clean finish.
Seventh step :
Most of the pieces will end up in the rotary tumbler with high grit abrasive to have a unified finish throughout the collection.
Some special commissions may only be finished by hand on higher grit to ensure a better finish.
The higher the finishing grit is and brighter the color of the stone will present.
Eighth step :
Every piece, once finished, will be cooked for a few minutes into a hot mixture of olive oil and wax to brighten the color of the stone.
This process allows you to see the stone as it should be when you wear it.
To learn more about this, go to the Product information page
Some special pieces that have been through a higher hand polishing process may only need to be oiled as the color will already be presenting.
Ninth step :
Unless it is a sculpture, all the pieces will be put on a string, silver chain or silver hook for the earrings.
Tenth step :
The piece is finished!
It is then sold to our retailer, or listed in our shop on this website.