I hesitate to make jewelry jealous, but I have a second love, and that is woodworking. While metal is lustrous and luminous, wood can contain chatoyance beyond my wildest dreams. It is a transformative thing to move between metal and wood.
It begins with a wax carving. These waxes will eventually become metal. The wax is encased in a liquid plaster called investment that hardens quickly and can withstand very high temperatures.
Cuttlefish bone casting is an ancient technique that involves pouring molten metal directly into the carved bone. Sand casting is also very historic: it is the process of pouring metal into a carved cavity of sand.
Nine two five. The three numbers attached to a specific alloy: sterling silver. 92.5% fine silver, and 7.5% copper and other alloys. I love the versatility of sterling: it is forgiving to cast and willing to work-harden under a planishing hammer.