We rarely get the opportunity to talk about the 'high end' side of jewelry production, so we're privileged to feature Adrian Allin and his craft and skill in mold-making and wax-carving.
Adrian has been in the jewelry industry for 20 years -- doing everything from design to creating, to casting and wax modeling. His work has been used by the Parliament of Johannesburg, South Africa, well-known exporters in the industry, and other manufacturers of silver and pewter. He has an absolute passion for the industry and cannot ever see himself doing anything else.
In his country, mold-making and wax-carving are rare skills -- and Adrian considers himself privileged to have perfected both of these arts. Artisans with such skills are scarce because most modern jewelry manufacturing is done through industrial machinery -- to facilitate high-volume production. Adrian's work is also different from most casual jewelry designers; when he described it to me, I thought of the work of a sculptor.
When he gets a request for a new design, he first draws the design, then copies the drawing over on a piece of wax. Then the real work begins. He carves the detail out on the wax, using various tools to get the desired effect. The final product is later cast in silver, gold, platinum or copper. Intensive training and refinement of the craft is necessary in order to truly understand the process and to progress in the profession.
We asked Adrian what inspires his designs -- and in this case his answer was similar to responses I have heard from many of you. He says his inspiration is derived from various things -- but mainly from things that touch his soul -- things that he has connected with, and elements that have deep meaning for him. As you can see by the sample designs we have included here, he really enjoys the African arts and culture.
Adrian's favorite materials are silver, elephant hair, tortoise shell, and other natural products. He takes these very special materials and applies his craft. He is delighted to still be able to learn new things and explore new ways to execute designs on special request. Right now, he is focusing on expanding his reach into the international market and add value to those seeking the exposure of African products.
We asked Adrian how his training began, and we loved his answer: "I gained my training and knowledge the old fashioned way of stealing with the eye, I call it.The passion just followed." When we asked him what advice he would have for someone who wanted to pursue the niche he has carved for himself, he said: "Believe in yourself and your own creativity; never lose focus. When you inspire other people through your art, it is one of the most self-fulfilling things you can imagine."
We are inspired by ADRIAN! Check out his LinkedIn Profile here:
And for orders or more information, you can contact him here:
Until next time,
Sheila & Shannon
p.s. Don't forget the contest that's still ongoing and enter to win those cool traditional Mexican beads pictured in our 'Beads of the Week' section. Requirements for entering are in last week's post on 'Living the Life of a Jewelry Entrepreneur'.
p.p.s.s. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Wenche of Norway.