Written by Joy Robinson, email@example.com Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00
There’s much more than meets the eye at the Sands Point Shop. Just look behind and under the array of jewelry, giftware, outerwear and handbags, and you will see what is increasingly uncommon on Long Island—a place where things are actually made.
The Sands Point Shop at 15 Main St. is home to a large jewelry-manufacturing center—fully equipped with 10 technicians who hammer out everything and anything. Every day, there are daily tasks from designing a diamond setting to filing and polishing.
“We make our own jewelry from beginning to end,” said Laura Mazza, the Sands Point Shop’s merchandiser and also the company founder’s great granddaughter. Robert Bartholomew is the name of its manufacturing business. “Robert is my father and Bartholomew was my great grandfather who started this business more than 70 years ago,” said Mazza, whose brothers and father still run it.
Originally based in New York City, the family searched Long Island for the perfect building, geographically perfect for all of its members. They ended up on Main Street 17 years ago.
If you head to the back left of the shop, you may hear a lot of clamor. It’s one of the technicians at work, filing some precious metal into what will soon become a bezel for a necklace, or perhaps using one of the hundreds of small tools that lie ready for work.
It all begins with a wax mold. Downstairs is a spacious warehouse. One area has many shelves with hundreds of small yellow boxes all neatly stacked and numbered.
After the wax is set, the next day the casting begins, and after that the polishing. “We cast all types of metals from sterling silver to 14k or 18k gold, gold in green, white, pink, or platinum,” added Mazza. “Our company makes things for other jewelry stores around the country, as well for our own. Customers often bring in photographs, magazine clippings, or anything the imagination conjures up. Of course, the Robert Bartholomew designers can offer their own creativity, too.” Their biggest ticket piece yet—a stunning diamond necklace that was bought for $90,000.
One of the diamond setters works meticulously with his tongs, setting even the tiniest of diamonds into their prongs. He needs to have a sharp eye and a steady hand, because if one slips away it may never be found. Another of the filers, works at cutting and filing various metals to prep them for the next step. Yet another employee could do anything for the business, according to Mazza.
“He is very talented,” added Mazza. “He can make anything we want—even from a sketch.”