Creation time: 1 Day
Production date: Current Collection
Materials used: Exotic Hardwoods (Pink Ivory, Ebony), Brass, Freshwater Pearl
Basilica design shown in Pink Ivory with Brass filigree and Freshwater Pearls
The Basilica is one of our current favorites in our lineup of made-to-order body jewelry, both because we find it strikingly beautiful and also because it is so multidisciplinary in construction. Utilizing woodworking, metalsmithing and lapidary skills, multiple Onetribe employees pull together to create each unique set of Basilica plugs one at a time as they are ordered by our customers. The Basilica plugs are available on our website here in both Pink Ivory and Ebony wood. Read on to see how these beauties are produced in our Richmond, Virginia workshop.
We start with a square block of wood that we'll turn on a lathe to create the base wood plugs.
Turning the square block round.
Cutting the wearing surface and flares for the wood plugs.
The wearing surface is sanded and polished, and the plugs are now starting to take shape. The pieces are ready to be cut from the spindle and have each side of each plug carved and finished.
Next we create our domed brass filigree backdrop for the decorative inlay with careful hammering to avoid damaging the fragile details.
The faces of the wood plugs are carved into a concave shape which perfectly matches each individual piece of domed brass filigree.
Soldering together the elements for the setting which will hold the pearl floating above the filigree and the hardware which will hold the inlay assembly to the base plug.
After soldering, the pieces must be sanded to remove oxidization prior to polishing.
We utilize whole freshwater pearls which are carved individually for each Basilica project.
We use our lapidary (stone grinding) equipment to carve the pearls into domed cabochon stones with a flat base.
While it looks like a simple process, it must be done carefully and with attention to the material because pearls are composed of concentric layers. The outside layer can (and will) chip in large fragments, making the piece unusable. We must work carefully to minimize waste.
We choose to bezel set our pearls (and indeed all of our inlays) rather than gluing them. This creates a longer lasting piece of jewelry built in a traditional manner. The sides of the bezel are folded over the edge of the gem, securing it.
With a set pearl and polished filigree, our pieces are nearly finished. All elements are checked for quality (sturdiness of the setting, finish, strength of solder seams) and then we begin final assembly.
The result is a pair of gorgeous Onetribe Basilica plugs made for one specific customer. We love the process of creation, and we hope you enjoy the finished product!
We want you to be happy with your purchase! If you can't wear our jewelry, then we've our wasted precious time and material, and nobody is happy. Contact us immediately about any issues and we'll see what we can do for you.
Our products are shipped sealed in clear plastic, and it's possible view all aspects of the jewelry without opening this plastic. Please examine your jewelry closely. Once you open the plastic, we can no longer accept a return or exchange. No exceptions.
If your jewelry arrives damaged, that's on us.
We will replace (if possible), substitute (with your permission), or refund (last resort) your order.
If your jewelry was made with the wrong specifications, and the specifications you provided meet our sizing guidelines, we'll make it right.
However, we cannot be held responsible for misunderstandings related to size conversions or how to measure wearing length or flare sizes. We provide a size guide on each product page for your convenience.
If your jewelry is not to your liking aesthetically, let's talk.
Please understand that we are working with natural materials that vary in color, pattern, and texture not just between tree to tree or stone to stone, but within the same piece of material. We take detailed product photos, and clearly explain each piece. We encourage you to learn about the materials and styles, and ask any questions you might have. We cannot promise very specific color requests, patterns, etc. If we have not disclosed something, or we come to agree that we have not accurately described what you've purchased, we will work with you to make it right.
We charge a restocking fee on pieces we have made to your specifications. We are open to reducing the restocking fee on returns if you opt for store credit rather than a refund.
For stocked and made-to-order items without custom specifications there is no fee!
For made-to-order items with custom specifications and custom orders cancelled before completion the fee is 20% of the jewelry cost.
The fee for custom specifications and custom orders is because the jewelry was made to fit you specifically, and/or because we have corresponded, booked time in our custom queue, done sketches, cut and prepared materials, etc.
We guarantee our jewelry to be free from manufacturing defects, but we can make no guarantees about materials due to the unpredictability of natural materials. If there is an issue resulting from the production process (workmanship) we'll make it right and repair or replace as necessary.
Once jewelry has been removed from our sealed plastic packaging, we have no control over the storage conditions or handling of your jewelry, and we cannot be held responsible for any damage.
If your jewelry requires basic repairs due to accidental damage, we're happy to work with you to make sure you have something wearable. We will, at our discretion, and at no cost to you, repair by means of sanding, shaping, or polishing to make a piece safe to wear. This may not "fix" aesthetic issues but will remove sharp edges. Shipping both ways is your responsibility.
If your jewelry cannot be repaired, we're happy to work with you on options for replacement.