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The Art Of Cast Not Set

by True Connexion

True Connexion is an artisan brand that combines old fashioned craftsmanship with contemporary conceptual design. In this article, they delve into the process of 'cast, not set' — a method of using old cuttlefish bones to cast unique pieces of jewellery. 

“Cast not set” is an unpredictable method. It has a mind of its own and the outcomes can be unexpected but with beautiful results. It is the process of casting gemstones directly into molten silver or gold. Most jewellers tend to make their designs in metal first and their final step will be fitting the stones into their settings afterward. We have reversed this process so that the stones are in place prior to the metal forming. 

This process is less conventional and comes with a lot of risk, but it’s the willingness to take risks that gives our work such visual impact. We use the ancient technique of cuttlefish casting to execute the method of cast not set. 

What’s truly special about this technique is the organic aesthetic, a sense of rawness that results in designs that makes you look twice. This process gives us the freedom to mix unusual textures with natural raw and faceted gemstones. We select gemstones with natural colours and inclusions, and we also use them uncut, in their raw state. Gemstones in their raw form have an undeniable beauty and purity. The irregular shapes and colour variations remind us of our connection to nature and the gifts provided by it.

This sustainable method involves using cuttlefish bones that we collect on our local beaches as a mould to create our designs. We carve out the bones making an imprint, and the flowing lines within each of the bones create a whimsical look. 

Each cuttlefish bone has its own unique texture which gives the jewellery its own distinctive patterning. It’s nature's gift to us, and a process of rebirth. The cuttlefish bone is letting go of its old form and transforming into something majestic. We find the art of renewal replenishing. 

We appreciate the freedom and restrictions that come with this process. Opening up the cast once the metal has been poured is an invigorating experience, the results can be quite surprising and serendipitous. The metal literally takes over and does what it wants. It will hug the stones uniquely making each piece one of a kind, an alluring element to this type of stone setting. 

Some stones can move from their original positioning or become more vibrant when placed under heat. Despite the free-flowing experimental nature of this method, there is also a lot of technical intricacy and skill that is required.

We're in love with precious metals and their infinite possibilities to result in something special. Jewellery making is cyclical, we can reduce waste by remelting old pieces to become a new opportunity for creation. In a world full of automation and mass production, our craftsmanship allows us to connect with our inner selves and appreciate the process as well as the result. 

We enjoy connecting with people through our craft. Our jewellery designs are valued by the emotions that are sparked in the wearer, gravitating towards an eternal connection between the wearer and the piece. 

Our work is a celebration of the spontaneous magic that exists in the everyday. While we have some control of this casting process, we can’t control every aspect, it's about facing the unknown. Not being so fixated on the end result, going with the flow and accepting the uncertainty in the craft is something we strongly treasure. 

There have been a lot of benefits of following our curiosity and trusting our feelings. We are learning to adapt and progress from an intuitive place rather than overthinking each design.

Connecting to our instincts and doing what comes naturally allows us to feel more open to any possibility creatively. Embracing the randomness in the craft and accepting beauty in the unusual feeds our creative impulses. This inner kingdom is where we manifest and project our reality. Our designs encourage experimentation and individualistic expression.

When you buy something from True Connexion, you’re buying more than just a product. You’re buying hours of experimentation. You’re buying days, weeks, and months of frustration combined with moments of euphoria. You aren’t just buying a thing, you’re buying part of our spirit and moments of our life.