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Production of the new MEIKA concho


For the arrival of spring and sunny days, I am releasing a brand new bracelet on my website: MEIKA. The concho is brand new and imagined, drawn by myself. 

As explained in an earlier blog post (to see here), the concho is a small loop used initially for horse saddles and then recovered to become a fashion accessory (Navajo belt, boots, hats etc.). 

After some research to find a foundry, it was during the summer of 2020 that I called on the foundry fonteacireperdue.com to have my silver conchos made. I immediately appreciated their work and their support in making the pieces that best matched what I was looking for. I originally sent the foundry some vintage conchos which they cast and then re-created in solid silver. 

Link to blog post "LounArrow recycled silver jewelry"

INery satisfied with the result, since the beginning of 2021 I have trusted them to produce a piece that I imagined and then designed.

INoici l'explication of sa production

1. Realization of the drawing 

I first drew the concho with the help of books on Native American symbols and inspired by existing conchos. To change a little from the ones I already have on my shop, I chose a square shape.

The symbol I drew in the middle of the new MEIKA concho is that of the sun. It is also the symbol of happiness, joy. That's good because the new bracelets are coming for the spring/summer 2021 collection! 

All around this sun are represented mountains. They symbolize the destination. 

The MEIKA concho is inspired by nature, very important in the LounArrow universe, and symbolizes the path to happiness. Hope it brings you luck.

2. The realization of the drawing in model. 

Realization of the drawing in 3D thanks to a design software. This file was printed in resin using a 3D printer which allows the production of the rubber or silicone mould.


3. Realization of the concho in lost wax casting.

I have the silver conchos made in Ardèche at the foundry

fonteacireperdue.com using the lost wax casting technique. 

 

Here are the different steps: 

  • Molding

The concho to be reproduced was molded in silicone. 

  • injection of wax

 Heated wax is injected into the mould. After cooling, the wax can be extracted.

  • Wax grabbing.

It is the assembly of wax pieces on a wax rod in order to obtain a "tree".

  • Coating.

The wax tree is embedded in a refractory coating and then placed in an oven for firing. In the oven, the coating hardens and the wax melts, leaving the imprint of the wax tree in the mould.

The wax is lost, hence the name "lost wax cast".

  • The casting.

 The mold is placed in a vacuum chamber. The molten metal is then poured into the mold cavity.

  • Dismantling the metal shaft.

After casting the shaft is soaked in a bucket of cold water. The tree is then cleaned with a high-pressure water jet and then with a wet sandblaster. Conchos can now be dismantled from the tree with wire cutters and saws.

 

4. Making the bracelet.

Upon receipt of the conchos, I assemble the previously woven Brazilian bracelets to make the bracelet. At this time, I also add the tips and clasps. 

Discover the Meika bracelets in the shop HERE

5. Deposit at the INPI.

 

The bracelet being imagined from start to finish by myself and this jewel not being present on the market, I deposit the models with the INPI in order to protect them and guarantee you a unique jewel.