Carter at workbench

A young man walked in wanting to create a special pendant for his girlfriend but wasn't certain how to go about the process. Fortunately, he had a sketch and that's all it took.

Customers actual sketch

The sketch depicted highly stylized initials enveloped by a heart. A certain challenge, but well within Carter's skills.

Piece of carving wax shaped into a heart

A piece of carving wax is shaped to match the design.

Mucho time and skill

Inner portions of the wax is carefully excavated and smoothed to achieve the script effect. Numerous carving utensils are used to sculpt the various curves. The model is now ready to be cast into a precious metal using the lost-wax process.

Cast into 14k white gold

The young man chose 14k white gold. Here, the pendant appears freshly cast with the sprue intact. The area is smoothed away.

Soldering at the workbench

A jeweler's torch is used to solder gold. A pencil-tip blue flame will heat the surface just shy of its melting point.

Soldering completed

The result is a white gold bail hoop.

14k white gold bail for a necklace to string through

This allows a 14k pendant bail to be properly oriented.

Initial polishing for hard-to-reach spots

A polishing brush is used in the small crevices.

Pendant at the polish station

The pendant goes through multiple stages of polishing.

Ultrasonic cleaning

An ultrasonic bath dissolves any traces of polishing compound.

High pressure steam

High pressure steam purges the pendant clean.

Completed one-of-a-kind pendant

The custom-made pendant is now ready to be cherished. Knowing there will be no other pendant like this emphasizes its uniqueness.