Carter came to work with me again. We fabricated a silver ring for fun. First he rolled out some thick silver wire in the rolling mill. He formed two size 8 bands from the slightly flattened metal. We made a small bezel and soldered it to a flat sheet for a backing. He soldered them all together and we set a cool Michigan greenstone called chorastrolite in the bezel. He polished it up and got to take it home that day.
Fabrication gives you instant gratification and is often a great way to make parts injunction with traditional cast pieces. It is great to have the know-how to create a part for repair or in an emergancy.
It seems like I have had a lot more channel rebuilds lately. Maybe because we’ve been showing off some of the latest ones to people and they have been going home and bringing back theirs in for work.
The half bezels holding in the big emerald cut diamonds were quite worn and thin.
I rolled some wire flat in the rolling mill and gave them a custom bend to match the stone. I laser welded them in place.
I made them a little over sized on purpose so I had metal to shape, sand and polish. One stone rechanneled, one more to go.
It is a beautiful ring. It is such a tasteful design. Now that I was able to refresh it to when it was new it can be worn and enjoyed for more years to come.
Here is another channel rebuild. This time on a diamond ring. The metal holding in the baguettes was thinner than paper. It was so crooked and jagged. I found a tapered baguette to fill the hole. I rolled a gold wire and carefully formed it to the ring and laser welded it in place. Then I flowed solder to fill any gaps.
I sanded, polished, refinished and rhodium plated the ring.
It is hard to play around and make jewelry for the showcase when there are so many custom jobs and repairs on your plate. I have been working a little here and a little there on this ring. I made this ring in fifteen minute intervals for a month. I finally finished it today. It has fifteen 1.0mm round full cut diamonds on a halo that rests on the finger. The 1.10 carat diamond is high above it.
Every one at the store agreed, we need to make more jewelry for the showcase. We are so busy making jewelry it is easy to forget that none are for the showcase.
There is a wonderful back story behind this family ring. After 10 years of marriage and the addition of 2 children, they decided to have the wedding ceremony that they never really had. Their son was the ring barer and their daughter, the flower girl. And this was the ring presented to her on that day. (Not in the condition pictured). 😉 It contained hers and his birth stones, a diamond in the center to represent the 10th year anniversary and a pink and blue stone for their two children. She admitted that it has been in this state for about a year and a half when I ran into her at the bank. The ring was missing a few prongs that led to the loss of the pink tourmaline. And the sapphire was is need of a prong tip. I told her that it was not too big a deal to fix. Not too expensive.
I laser welded on 14k yellow gold wire to act as the new prongs for the pink tourmaline. I hit the seam a few times with a strong beam at 0.3mm then opened up the beam to 0.9mm where it literally shines the surface. Very little polishing required. I covered the blue sapphire with a putty that watch makers use to remove finger prints and dust from inside a watch dial and crystal after being worked on. The putty helps protect the stone from any stray laser light as I was welding the prong with the stone still in the head.
I dressed the sapphire re-tip and set the pink tourmaline. The ring was completely burnished to remove dents and dings and was lightly sanded and polished to the day that she first got it.
I first carved the heart and built up the thorns on top with a heated wax pen. I planned for the stones by cutting the seats, but I did not drill all the way through. I believe there is a greater chance of casting failure if you drill the “breather” cleaning holes behind the stones in the wax model. The “stalagmites” of plaster in the plaster mold can get blown down by the molten metal entering the mold causing huge pits and voids in the ring.
I drill them out before stone setting.
First sanding after casting:
I painted the surface areas that I did not want black rhodium plated:
Cleaned off nail polish and light buff:
I always like working with unusual shaped stones. The end result can seem more “custom” then a piece with, say, a 7.0mm calibrated round stone. This simple design, symmetrical ring uses a tapered fantasy cut rhodolite garnet. It screams “custom” because mounting was obviously made specifically for that stone. The square shank continues that one-of-a-kind feel. The ring also contains six channel princess cut diamonds.
For this engagement ring I carved and cast it in 3 pieces so I could polish each piece individually before assembling. Whereas, all the nooks and crannies were able to be cleaned up. The center princess cut and side princess cut diamonds were channel set and the ring given a final polish.
Sorry, I did not get a good finished picture of the ring in a controlled light box.
Yesterday’s post was about an agate pendant. Here is another agate pendant that I made. This one was a cast piece in 14k yellow and white gold. The design reminds me of a Japanese shrine or pagoda.
I love fabricating piece right in metal. The results are so much faster then carving a wax and casting. The parts can be crisp and polished.
This agate pendant with bezel set diamond in 14k gold was made for the show case. I did a number of drawings and stuck to it. Sorry for the low quality photo. It is a photo of a photo.