Working Techniques

Working Techniques
Luis Alberto Cano jewels are realized in tumbaga, an ancient pre-Colombian alloy. Each jewel is covered with 5 covers of 24 karats gold and three patinas which give to the jewel an intense and doughy colour. The quality of materials used and the great workmanship's value is such that Luis Alberto Cano jewels are life guaranteed.
The masks, the pectorals, the arandelas, the poporos, the zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures realized by Luis Alberto Cano not only reveal the history of the ancient people who lived the “New World”, but they are realized with the same working techniques used by the ancient indios goldsmiths for whom to mould the gold was a way to come into contact with divinity and supernatural world.
The most used moulding techniques for gold, during pre- Colombian age, were the hammering, the lost wax, and bas-relief and high-relief.
The hammering system was made by putting the gold lumps on round and smooth stony anvils that with a stony hammer were beaten up to become flat foils, even very thin.
After a few hammer hits the foil gave signs of brittleness: to avoid the danger of a crack, the goldsmith heated it to live fire and then cooled it by dipping it in the water.

Such treatment allowed the piece to get new  thickness and so to go on with the hammering up to reach the dimensions and thickness desired.
The lost wax system was made by using bee wax to create threads, braids and foils with which the gold pieces to manufacture were modelled. A funnel and small channels, in wax too, necessary for the circulation of melted gold were added to the modelled piece. All was covered by semi-liquid clay which was dried and then combined in a block of refractory clay, which was filled with a melted gold jet. By putting this block close to the heat, the inner wax model loosened and got out through the small channels, while the melted gold occupied the space left free.
After the cooling, the clay was broken and the content extracted and then cleaned and refined.

The pre-Colombian goldsmiths became famous above all for the beauty of decorations applied even on objects of daily use, got through the high-relief and bas- relief working system. An ornamental technique, result of a refined process of piece beating which allows the adding of  lines and grooves on the metal so to form real representations with extraordinary pictorial effects.