THE WALLACE CUT, 1987
Invented in 1987, The Wallace Cut established Wallace Chan’s status as a master sculptor. It is a technique based on reverse thinking, combined with precise calculation, gem faceting, and 360-degree intaglio, to create multiple reflections. Wallace Chan also invented the tools to carry it out (by modifying dental drills) and had to complete the carving process in water to prevent heat and tension, which would damage the stone. This invention creates a mysterious fourfold reflection on a transparent stone from one carved face at the stone’s back.
GEMSTONE SETTING TECHNIQUES, 2000 -
In traditional jewelry making techniques, metal claws are often used to set gemstones. However, Wallace Chan always strives to reveal the stone’s colors, brilliance and charm to the greatest extent possible. Following this line of thought, he invented techniques to set one gemstone within another: “diamond claw setting method” and “inner mortise and tenon setting method”. The former allows diamonds and other gemstones to function as claws to secure gemstones in place. The latter is a method inspired by Ming-style furniture (15-17 BC), famous for their mortise and tenon joints. Gemstones are given special cuts to form mortise and tenon joints so they can fit perfectly without the use of metal claws.
PATENTED JADE TECHNIQUE, 2002
With smooth texture and great lustre, jade evokes feelings of nostalgia in the Chinese culture. However, applying jade in contemporary jewelry design calls for a modern take on it. Wallace Chan’s profound knowledge of light and jade enabled him to invent a jade refining and brightening technique that sends light racing and pulsating along the material’s surface. Green refractions then magnify each other and sharpen the deep green colors. This technique received a patent of invention in 2002.
TITANIUM MASTERY, 2007
Known as a space-aged metal, titanium is an important material for modern technology. It is strong, light, hypoallergenic and colorful. In traditional jewelry pieces, gold or platinum is often used to set gemstones. But the weight of titanium is only one-fifth that of gold with the same volume. Wallace Chan spent eight years on the research of titanium before mastering it in jewelry creation and expanding the canvas for his creative visions. In 2007, Wallace Chan turned a new page in the world of haute joaillerie with his “wearable sculptural art”. Today, he continues to push the limits of titanium, creating artworks in colors and scales that are never-before-seen.
SECRET ABYSS, 2014
From concept to creation, the birth of Secret Abyss was a decade-long journey. Through a 6.5 mm opening, Wallace Chan drilled and polished a tunnel of 42x7 mm inside the rutilated quartz before setting 1,111 pieces of emerald to form the auspicious cloud pattern. When one looks at it, it appears like a secret abyss with gleaming, meandering clouds.
From drilling and polishing to setting, the entire creation process required extraordinary focus and determination, similar to what a magician needs to unlock and free himself from a water tank. Every single movement had to be done with total concentration while holding the breath, without any lapse.
THE WALLACE CHAN PORCELAIN, 2018
Research, experimentation and development of The Wallace Chan Porcelain took seven years, but one could say the process was several decades in the making. The idea for the material originated from the creator’s vivid childhood memory of a porcelain spoon slipping from his hands and shattering upon hitting the floor. He thought, for such a seemingly sturdy material, it deserved to be strong – as strong as the centuries of history surrounding it.
The Wallace Chan Porcelain is five times stronger than steel. Heavily rooted in culture and history, the material has rich color, intense lustre, strength, toughness and a contemporary spirit.
A New Generation, the first piece ever created with The Wallace Chan Porcelain, is in the permanent collection of the British Museum since 2019. It is the first contemporary jewelry art created by a Chinese artist to be included in the museum’s collection.