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Teyna and Julia Make Wedding Rings

August 25th, 2014 No comments

I was thrilled to be asked to help instruct Teyna and Julia in the making of their own wedding bands for their commitment ceremony. They chose to make hammered square rings of heavy sterling silver, the edges decorated with a pave finish.

Teyna and Julia Begin the Ring-Making Process

The couple also chose to design their own engagement rings with me, and I made those separately (they aren’t shown until the end) . The theme for the engagement rings was orange for Teyna and purple for Julia, and to incorporate a dragonfly and some heirloom family silver. We ended up with the same ring style for both, yet set with two different gemstones to reflect their tastes in color. The rings were embellished with one pair of textured dragonfly wings each, and, in Julia’s words, “together, we fly.”

These two are among the sweetest and kindest people I’ve ever worked with. They treat one another in scuh a warm, gentle and fun-loving way. Indeed, the couple learned how to make their own rings. But I learned a whole lot more! Please enjoy this photographic journey with me…

This last photo was taken after the commitment ceremony to which I was invited. A big honor!!!

Post ceremony, Teyna and Julia, fingers intertwined

Getting Back to (Art) Work

June 4th, 2014 2 comments

I’m excerpting from my recent newsletter, and updating my blog as to my whereabouts these past several weeks. But, unlike overprotective fathers, my blog doesn’t really care. It’s rather an inanimate object, yes? All kinds of bad keyword search Google-ish damanable metric-adverse things may have happened to my blog during my hiatus. I’ll never know for sure. However, just in case someone stumbles across these words, I’m compelled to apologize for not posting for awhile.

My plate has been overflowing with more activities than I can name. I took an this unusual break from my monthly newsletter for the past two months due to a temp job working the primary election – which turned into a job with major overtime! I’m glad I did it…but I won’t be doing it again. It gave me an appreciation for artists who work full time and try to fit in their art on the side. It validated that I’m not meant to split my time! So my focus will be on my custom clients, the creation of jewelry, and jewelry instruction. Feels good to know – again.

I’m back in the studio in fits and starts, and have completed a few projects for my lovely, patient clients, and more are underway. I’m currently making a wedding band for the engagement ring pictured below, and a wedding band for the groom based upon the bride’s ring. Soon, I’l be sharing photos of more “dreams made by hand.” Until then, thanks for sticking around.

Making a Sterling Silver Ring with Vintage Jade Stone

March 6th, 2014 No comments

Sometimes, handmade jewelry names itself. This is one of those instances. The gemstone is a vintage piece of jade that I took out of an old setting. I wanted to fabricate a ring that was bold and had a vintage quality with a modern edge.

First came the setting (not pictured), then the triple ring shank. This shank is a bit tricky to solder. First, you make three rings, each the same size. Then you solder the three rings together on one side. A sturdy soldering setup is key. Here I used broken pieces of ceramic flameproof block pinned to a soft soldering block to keep them from moving. The rings are wedged in place and soldered. Mine still slipped a bit when heated, but I was able to gently move them back into place with my soldering pick.

Triple ring shank for Cake ring

The completed ring shank, pickled and cleaned up.

After the ring was soldered, pickled and cleaned up (above) it was time to level the top of the ring a bit in order to create a flat place for the setting. This would facilitate a good seat for soldering the two pieces together.

Cake ring, after soldering the shank to the setting

It’s important to check the setting from all angles, to assure that the shank and the setting are centered properly before soldering. The above photo shows the ring after soldering and before pickling.

Cake ring, after applying the blackening patina

After all soldering and finishing work are completed, I applied Silver Black to darken the entire ring. Then I set the stone. At this point, the ring got it’s name: Cake! It looked like a fancy, decorated cake to me. No matter that it was green.

Cake ring, after setting the gemstone

After setting the stone, I polished back some of the patina to let a bit of the silver shine through.

Jade Cake Ring, on hand

Enjoy!


Completed Jade Cake Ring