The Dead Ivy Way; Materials and Jewellery Production

Just like the wearers of our rings and pendants, no two Dead Ivy pieces will ever be exactly the same. We take great pride in hand crafting all of our pieces in our workshop based in Newcastle, Australia, turning blank wax sheets/blocks and recycled precious metals into unique jewellery. 

If you’ve ever wondered how our jewellery is crafted, we’re sharing a little about our process and the materials used right here in this blog.



The materials we use:

All of our unique pieces are made using recycled 925 sterling silver and recycled 9ct. solid yellow gold. We actively choose these materials for a number of reasons, in particular their durability, versatility, and timeless aesthetic. In addition, they are a sustainable material, reducing our overall footprint on the planet.  

925 sterling silver is durable, practical, versatile and won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for an everyday ring or pendant that compliments your style on any occasion, then 925 sterling silver could be a suitable option for you. The Polished finish of the sterling silver compliments our Dead Ivy designs, and with a material that offers sturdiness and a resistance to tarnish, you don’t need to worry about everyday wear of your unique piece.

If you’re looking to level up your look or make an investment, 9ct. solid yellow gold is the go to material it has remarkable longevity due to its gold content. We understand that sterling silver is not for everyone, so if gold is more your taste, we’ve got you covered with our 9ct. recycled yellow gold rings and pendants, sure to last you for years to come.

When compared to gold plated pieces, the durability and wear of solid gold jewellery is unmatched. The plating will be worn away over time, as it rubs against your skin and is exposed to other elements slowly exposing its base metal. While gold-plated jewellery sits at a lower price point to solid gold, the quality and longevity of your jewellery is reflected in that cost.

The Production Process:

The Lost Wax method

At Dead Ivy, we adopt the ‘Lost Wax’ method to craft both our 925 sterling silver and 9ct. rings and pendants.


Wax Carving

To start, we use a plain block of wax or “Blank Canvas” to hand-carve the design of the ring or pendant. We work with waxes that are specialised for this jewellery carving process. They offer a different hardness, different melting points and different performance, depending on the application. 



We use a wax saw, file, chisels, scribe, and engraver throughout this process. The last step of this process is to gently run a flame or rubbing alcohol over the surface of the wax to smooth it out before the next step of casting.



Taking inspiration from traditional tattoo art, along with ocean, landscapes, life experiences and a different array of surf, skate and punk cultures, Dead Ivy completes all carving and design work in house. We are proud to provide our customers with unique pieces with our signature hand carved ‘Dead Ivy’ style. 



The wax model is then joined to a wax sprue and a sprue “tree” with multiple castings attached. The sprue (a wax rod) acts as a channel for the molten metal. Encased in a heat-resistant material known as investment, the model and sprue form a mould. Through a controlled heating process, the wax melts away, leaving behind a meticulously detailed cavity within the mould.

Once the wax is removed, the mould undergoes further heating to eliminate any remaining traces and strengthen its structure. Now ready for the transformation, the recycled sterling silver or 9ct gold is poured into the mold through the sprue, filling the void left by the wax. 

As the metal cools and solidifies within the mould, it gradually takes on the precise shape of the original wax model. With precision and attention to detail, the mould is broken to reveal the piece, revealing a raw metal casting which is then cut on its sprue, inspected for any defects before being ready to enter the finishing process. 


The process of oxidising jewellery helps to protect each of our pieces darkening engravings, provides the signature, almost ‘antiqued’ look of some Dead Ivy jewellery. Each of our casted designs are oxidised using liver of sulphur, which reacts with the metal and turns the piece black. 


The process of shaping the jewellery starts by taking the black (oxidised) piece and giving it a good inspection. Then, we get to shaping, starting with rough files first, followed by more delicate files. If the piece is a ring, it is then brought up to the exact size of the order. Finishing with a series of emery paper (sandpaper) to buff the pieces to a point where the piece is ready to be polished.



Polishing is one of the last steps of our jewellery making process, and will differ depending on the piece we’re working on. We will either use a ‘tumble’ polish technique, using stainless steel shot media, or buffing wheels and polishing compound to give a mirror finish. Buffing is best for delicate or gold designs. 


Inspect, polish and pack

Once we’ve done the final inspection, we wash and hand polish all pieces before they are packaged and shipped to your door. The process of creating a Dead Ivy piece is methodical, intentional and unique for its wearer.

Due to the meticulous hand-crafting that goes into each jewellery order, pieces may take about 2 – 4 weeks to be completed and shipped. If you’re needing an order for a specific date, please let us know so we can try and work to your timeline.



Watch us make your jewellery!

Each Monday we share videos of our jewellery-making process on our Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. Every week we showcase a piece we’ve enjoyed making and hope you enjoy watching the process. 

Check out the production for yourself and shoot us a DM or email via our contact form if you’ve got any questions. We’d love to hear from you!

Got a design in mind? Ask us about our custom designs. Just email with the idea for the ring, ring size, budget and timeframe. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, visit our custom designs page to view some of our previous work.

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