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This step by step shows how I created a custom husky pendant. 
Regardless of the breed of dog, type of animal, ring or pendant, my process is the same every time I create one of my signature Luxe Animals.
Not pictured in this step by step is how often I reference photographs throughout the process. Unlike with most of my gemstone jewelry, animal jewelry requires constant photo comparison to really capture the true likeness. 


Step1(not pictured): I start with a small block of wax and mark the center lines vertically and horizontally.

Step 2: I draw a very rough dog face, primarily focusing on the basic outline and snout placement. Then I cut out the general shape.

Step 3: I begin to file away the profile of the dog, knowing that the neck and ears will be the furthest back. 

Step 3 (side view)

Step 4: Start rounding out the features and refining. Since the husky is a fluffy dog, the face will look much larger until some defining texture is added later. 

Step 5: I begin to define the layers of fur that frame the face. I don't try to smooth the dogs face out too much because marks leftover from my tools will be covered by fur texture eventually. I also round out the shape of the ears.

Step 6: The eyes. I can hardly express enough how important it is to get the eyes right. Eyes are the thing standing between a realistic representation of the dog, and a horrifying animal mutation. For those reasons, I invest a lot of time in this area.

Step 7: Eyebrows. One of the things I love so much about wax is the ability to add it back onto a model. In this case I add on some wax to define the eyebrows, which are also so important to the overall mood of the dog.

Step 8: Eyes, ears, nose, mouth. The ears get hollowed out, and I use magnifying glasses to help me as I define the tiny nose. The eyes are also looking pretty good here but the eyebrows are still a bit serious.

Side 8: Side view. The lines of the mouth can be seen now.

Step 9: Time to define the collar area. On shorter haired dogs I will typically melt on a thin line of wax for the collar, but on a longer haired dog such as this, I actually undercut the collar to show off the fluff.

Step 9: Side view. At this point I am happy with the proportions of the face, so now its just time to go in and detail with fur. 

Step 10: Fur. I am still amazed by the difference fur texture makes. I really think this step brings the dog to life. And yes, I scratch in each hair one at a time.

Step 10: Side view. (I still actually hadn't finished the back of the ears here, but it was so close to finished).

Step 11: Once I am happy with all of the texture on the front, and my client approves the model, I hollow out the back (this picture is from a video, apologies for the blur). Remember I started with a block of wax... so this piece had a lot of extra weight on it. Hollowing the back uses less metal, making it lighter to wear. And finally, I sign my initials on the back. 

At last it is finished. Custom animals take about 10-14 hours to carve, and I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. I grabbed the picture above and below from a 10x magnification video to show the amount of detail and texture that is on the final model.  

Last but not least, here is the sweet pup I was modeling this pendant off of.

Thanks for following along,

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