Carole Lombard's Star Sapphire Brooch
How It’s Made
Once the design was developed we had to make the star sapphire and carve the model in wax. We decided to use these two methods to stay within our project budget. We reached out to San Diegos’ glass artist Kathleen Mitchell for the “Sapphire” creation. Once the glass gem was completed then we could carve the wax model from the drawings we had developed.
After the wax model was cast in yellow bronze we started the preparations for soldering the elements together. It’s best to finish the casted elements before soldering them this insures that all the parts have the best polish. The following images show the various stages of assembling and polishing.
The glass star gem was a perfect fit for the bronze casting.
Once the polishing was finished we shipped it out to be plated. Our assembled cast brooch was Rhodium plated to simulate platinum. We agreed that most likely the original brooch was made in platinum. Adding the Swarovski gemstones to the new brooch went quickly. The next step was to channel set the crystal baguettes.
We had tried several methods from engraving the star on the backplate in the brooch to painting the star effect behind the glass gem. We ended up painting a star on a thin piece of film that was inserted behind the glass "gem" and the backplate.