This cardinal bolo tie was created as a Christmas present for the customer's mother. The original design was carved out of wax using a variety of photos for inspiration. I didn't make a mold, thinking there wouldn't be much demand for such a specialized design. Little did I know, my step mother saw the design and immediately asked for a silver cardinal pin. I had already sent off the original bolo and began carving a new cardinal out of wax. This time I made a mold, so reach out if you would like your own cardinal design (they aren't available on the website yet)!
I created the initial shape by cutting the outline out of a block of carving wax with a jewelers saw. I then refined the general shape with a file.
I use wax carving tools in various shapes to scrape away the wax and slowly reveal the shape of the cardinal.
The red wax (used for the eye, feet and pinecone) is a detail wax that is melted and then dripped on top of the base carving wax. It allows for finer surface detail. At this point, it is time to send off to be cast in bronze.
Back from the caster! Time to oxidize with liver of sulfur to create the contrast of black in the recessed areas of the design and then a final polish.
This is my second cardinal, which I cast in sterling silver and made into a pin.
Back of the pin. The main challenges for the pin back were to make sure it was hidden behind the cardinal body, it was easy to put on and the branch would hang straight across when worn.
"The second I saw Louisa's bolo ties I had to have one. Her unique ability to design and cast metal jewelry gave me the idea to ask if she would create a cardinal bolo tie. Louisa kept me in the loop every step of the way and even worked with me to find the perfect design. Her level of quality and elegant designs will always keep me coming back for more! Plus her cardinal bolo tie is the center of attention anytime it's worn!" - Callie