A Behind the Scenes Look at Our Jewelry-Making Process
Our Founder & CEO, Vladi Bergman, had a dream of providing beautiful creations that connect ancient and sacred practices with our modern lifestyle to bring more meaning into our journey through life.
From choosing materials with sacred energetic signatures to cleansing the jewelry with singing bowls before packaging, each piece is part of a larger vision. We partner with artisans from the far corners of the world to create handcrafted jewelry that supports and sustains your energetic needs through certified fair trade and sustainable means.
What Does Our Jewelry-Making Process Look Like?
Our jewelry-making process is meticulous, thoughtful, and ethical. Let’s enter the world of jewelry-making at Karma and Luck as we explore how our intricate jewelry collections come to be.
Stage 1: Design
It all begins with an idea. As Stephen R. Covey says, “All things are created twice,” meaning before we actually make anything in the physical realm, it is first created in our thoughts.
Before any initial sketches are put to paper, Vladi meets with his design partner to form ideas.
From beautiful bracelets with a purpose, like our red string bracelet collection to women’s chakra jewelry and men’s luck and success jewelry, the possibilities are dreamt up, all with the underlying purpose of protecting the wearer and cultivating mindfulness for a specific intention.
After they research and play with different themes, potential needs, and key items, the designs are alchemized into reality by drawing up an abundance of sketches, from which the final collections are chosen.
Because each theme is tailored to the spiritual temperature of the collective at that time, only a certain amount of product is created in one batch.
We, and the world, are constantly shifting and growing and each collection we create reflects the current energies on the planet. We only make a specific amount of the product so that when one of our collections comes to a close, an energetic space is formed for a new collection to emerge.
Stage 2: Choose a Supplier
Once we have settled on the pieces we will include in each collection, we then choose which of our trusted producers will create them.
Seventy percent of our entire line, including the majority of our men’s collections, are handmade by our supplier in Bali, since their master carvers can create a unique look that is indicative of our jewelry products’ aesthetic .
We send our more refined and polished pieces, including enamel work, to our teams in Bangkok, Thailand. Because of the intricate patterns, they prefer to work selectively from the CAD drawings, so they take our initial hand drawn sketches and draw them out through CAD.
Our supplier in Jaipur, India, creates other pieces of jewelry, in particular those that have beautiful hand-faceted stones that Jaipur is known for, such as Tourmaline, Garnet, Ruby, and Emerald.
Stage 3: Sample-Making
This next exciting stage is where concepts manifest into being. Most of our suppliers hand carve our pendants out of wax to match our drawings or the CAD designs. Rather than hand sculpting the wax, our team in Thailand uses a combination of hand carving and their 3D printers.
The first mold is made so that the wax pendant can be formed into what is called a master. This process is called “lost wax casting” because the mold is formed around the wax pendant which is heated and melted. Once the wax is removed, the impression of the pendant remains and molten metal is poured into the mold.
After a long gestation period of design, hard work, and collaboration, the first sample piece is ready for inspection. Often, adjustments need to be made to ensure each piece meets our quality standards, so it is common for there to be a couple rounds of revisions.
Stage 4: Mold-Making
After getting the green light from Vladi, more molds are made so that the amount of jewelry ordered can be created in one batch. Depending on the pendant’s complexity and in which location they are made, the molds are either sustainably sourced rubber or a mix of rubber and metal.
In lost wax casting, the rubber (or mixed rubber) is poured around the wax pendant sample piece. Because rubber is cold and hardens in air, it does not melt the wax. The rubber form has a hold on the top where the mold is heated and the wax is discarded.
The empty space that has formed in the molds is now ready to hold our base metals, and the pouring process begins.
Stage 5: Casting
The next step, casting, is the process where metal is heated to its melting point, poured into a mold, and then removed once cooled into its solid state.
We use 3 different metals depending on the piece:
- 925 Silver - This is 92.5% sterling silver mixed with either brass or bronze. It is the industry standard and provides durability to the silver.
- Bronze - This is one of the earliest metals forged by man. The first signs of use were in the Tigris Euphrates valley in Western Asia by the Sumerians.
- Brass - This is a metal that only gained popularity in the late 1800’s due to its high melting point.
Stage 6: Polishing
After the pieces are cast, the silver, bronze, or brass are hand buffed and polished. This precise and lengthy process is essential in ensuring that the piece’s beautiful craftsmanship is able to shine through.
Stage 7: Plating
Once the pendants are polished and primed, we plate them. Plating is a chemical process in which precious metals are used to coat the base metals, giving each piece an extra dose of prestige, plus some added healing properties.
Our favorite plating metals include:
- 18K gold
- Antique gun metal
- Oxidized finish on sterling silver
- Black gold plating
- Double Process Plating using 18 k black gold and gold gold plating
- Rose gold plating
The amount and type of plating is a large factor in determining the price. We only use sustainably and ethically sourced metal.
A great amount of research and attention to detail was put into finding miners and suppliers that we trust and that share our values. Working conditions are a huge consideration for us, as child labor and slavery are still prominent in many countries. That’s why all of our products are made in production facilities, not factories.
Stage 7: Enamel
The enameling process adds life and color to jewelry, which is why many of our pieces include it. Each item that contains enamel is carefully hand painted, giving each one a one-of-a-kind uniqueness, like a fingerprint.
Our partners in Bangkok, Thailand paint all of our beautiful enamel pendants.
Stage 8: Stone Setting
If a piece includes a diamond or any other gemstone, a skilled metallurgist hand sets them through a process of hand drilling the holes, preparing the stones, and using non-toxic materials to secure them in place.
Stage 9: Stinging & Beading
The stringing and beading process is also done by hand in all three of our main production facilities, Bali, Bangkok, and Jaipur. If you have one of our beaded or macrame bracelets, such as a red string bracelet or a birthstone bracelet, know that each knot and each stone was placed by diligent fingers.
Our valued jewelry makers are supported through certified fair trade practices, which benefits the individual, in turn helping their families and communities.
Like all processes that are done with intention and mindfulness, our jewelry is forged through long hours of meticulous planning and construction, creative energy, and soulful presence. They are meant to support everyone who touches them in some way. Start Your Journey Here: Learn More About the Karma and Luck Brand