Behind the Scenes at Whiting & Davis
- All photos by Flagship Photo
- Whiting & Davis designed the first mesh machines in 1912, automating a process that previously took intensive hand-labor to complete. Subsequently, the business boomed. Today, the mesh is made from brass plated with 18k gold or platinum.
- Once the mesh is created, it heads into the workspace for cutting and joining before separating into different departments.
- A worker cuts pieces from the chain mesh to prepare for jewelry.
- Whiting & Davis mesh features flat "spider" plates, joined using very precise links.
- Another worker meticulously hand applies enamel to each plate, row by row, for the brand's newest color pieces. Large color enamel sheets might be done all at once, while other styles require the mesh to be deconstructed into strips and then re-joined.
- The enameled links are then put back together.
- Each step of the jewelry process involves hand work. Since not everything detail on the jewelry is mesh, there are some casted components from vendors in MA and RI, which are added and finished by hand in the factory.
- The latest design progression for the storied company is its color enamel mesh, assembled in patterns, stripes, and color blocking on iconic shapes.
- The fine mesh is even more petite than the signature mesh, giving it extra shimmer and a fluid look. At one third of the size, it's described as "liquid gold."
- In an unofficial archive, visitors can view a selection of antique Whiting & Davis pieces, including snake bracelets and purses more than a century old.
- Today the company still weaves the iconic snake motif into its costume and fine jewelry collections, as seen here.