Recycled Engagement Ring

posted in: Commissions 0

I was recently asked to remodel a shop bought engagement ring. It was made in a design which just didn’t suit the customers lifestyle and as a result of this the diamond had come out the setting. The customer wanted to continue to wear the sentimental stone but felt that it would simply break again if I repaired the current ring.

Now this lady freely admits to being heavy handed so the new ring had to be super sturdy, low (to avoid catching on things) and needed to suit her other rings. The metal that I had to work with was 18ct White Gold but the customer has a soft spot for red gold and wanted to incorporate some of that too.

We worked out a design with a stripe of red gold, which would add a splash of colour but still match the rest of her white gold wedding set. She also loved the idea of a really handmade finish so hammering the surface was a good way of achieving this.

Recycling the Old Ring:

I began work by sawing the old 18ct white gold ring in two and rolling these halves into new pieces of wire. I bought square, 9ct Red Gold wire, and rolled that down to match the white gold. I bent these wires round into rings, soldered up the joints and was left with three rather thin new rings:

Making the New Ring:

I layered these thin rings up (double and then triple checking that I had the red one in the middle!) before clamping them with cotter pins. These held everything in place while I soldered the stack together. You can just see in the photo that I’ve lined up the solder joints in all three of the narrow rings so that I can find it again. I’ll cut the final ring here to add the setting for the diamond.

Once the ring had cooled and I’d cleaned it up I filed the surface smooth and could begin to see neat stripes of colour appearing.

I textured the ring by gently hammering it against a steel mandrel. Using the ball head of a hammer I built up a texture of small, round hammer marks which catch the light beautifully.

From here I cut through the ring and filed out a gap to fit a tapered circular tube. This will form the new setting for the diamond. I soldered this into place (conveniently forgot to take a photo) and the main structure of the ring was done. From there I polished it, sent it off for hallmarking in Birmingham and set the stone.

Finished Ring – Recycled 18ct White Gold, 9ct Red Gold & Diamond:

The resulting ring is a really nice blend of the old and the new. Using the original gold and a sentimental diamond keeps a connection to the past but provides and new ring that can be worn and enjoyed.

 

 

Snowflake Diamond Engagement Ring

Sketching the Ring:

This ring evolved from a request for a classic, dainty ring with lots of sparkle and a contemporary twist. A lot of sketching ensued and I eventually narrowed it down to an asymmetric, cluster style ring using a mixture of diamond shapes. I love pear shaped stones, so being able to use a few of those was a bonus:

 

My very accommodating customer gave me free rein to chose the diamonds themselves and I found a beautiful, clear D colour stone for the centre. I matched the outer stones to this for a unified feel and set to work drawing the final design up in CAD.

Making the Ring:

With the ring rendered fully on a computer I printed it in casting resin, a process which allows a 3D printed piece to be put through traditional lost wax casting production. The result was a perfect replica of my original drawing, cast in platinum. I checked it for size (as shrinkage occurs during the casting process) and stretched it a little to make it a size I.

The 3D printing and casting process left a rough texture on the surface of the ring so I filed and sanded it gently, removing marks and smoothing out the profile of the knife edged section on the band of the ring. After that I polished the whole piece, bringing the platinum up to a bright shine:

Finished Ring:

Fully set the final ring is pretty stunning and has a beautiful, delicate sparkle. The polished platinum sets off the diamonds beautifully and the asymmetric layout of stones really works. This ring has now gone off to it’s new home:

Commission: Recycled Diamond Earrings

posted in: Commissions 0

Sometimes I get asked to recycle old family jewellery into something new and these earrings are a great example of this:.25 carat diamond studs

They’re simple, classic diamond studs but they’re made from one new diamond and one old one, taken from a client’s unworn engagement ring. It seemed a shame to leave this sentimental stone in a box so I matched another diamond to it and now she has a great pair of wearable earrings with a personal story.

 

Original Engagement Ring shank with the brand new Diamond Earrings
Original Engagement Ring shank with the brand new diamond earrings

Craft at the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester 2014

posted in: Events, exhibition 0

This year the annual Three Choirs Festival returns to the city of Worcester for a glorious week of music in the historic Cathedral.

The Worcestershire Guild of Designer Craftsmen will, once again, be celebrating the event by hosting a contemporary craft fair in the Cathedral grounds, presenting a selection of work from local designer makers.

 

Worcestershire Guild Craft Three Choirs Poster 2014

Alongside the Worcestershire Guild will be members of the Cotswold and Herefordshire Craft Guilds, both of whose home cities also play host to the Three Choirs Festival, on alternate years.

The show opens on Saturday 26th July and runs until Saturday 2nd August, opening from 10am to 8pm each day.

New ellipses …

posted in: Uncategorized 1

Silver Castings - necklace and jump rings

I collected some new castings in the week and finally got them onto my bench today. I made the original copper models of these, looking at pictures I took of the shapes of little fishing boats moored out in a harbour.

There’s a very definite stripe that runs through the centre, on a curve, which I think I’ll put a bright, burnished edge onto once it’s all cleaned up and joined together.

Beautiful Seaside basics …

posted in: Jewellery 0

I’ve been feeling the need for things to be a little simpler lately. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my new Beachcomber pieces but I also like wearing neat, simple everyday jewellery that can handle a tough week in the workshop and doesn’t need to be taken off when you get in the shower, still half asleep, in the morning.

And, for that matter, it’s nice to have jewellery that you can sleep in.

So a couple of months ago I made myself these:

and I haven’t really taken them out since. Sure, I’ve changed them for more special or dressy occasions but they’ve always gone right back in again after.

They’re silver and lightly reticulated, meaning that they’ve been heated to the point where the silver just begins to turn liquid – then cooled off to preserve the wonderful, slightly rough texture that that leaves behind:

It burnishes up to a lovely, warm glow that looks soft and natural.

I’ve put a small range together:

Simple pendants in silver (with a red gold accent):

Stacks of bangles, also silver with a red gold accent:

and rings (silver and red gold):

which I’m testing myself – they wear beautifully and feel really summery!

You can find the whole range right here

Facebook Finds #1

Facebook steals hours of your life. Snooping through old acquaintances photographs at 3am is something everyone does but no one talks about. Right?

Recently though, I’ve started using my Facebook time a little more constructively by exploring Facebook pages. Pages allow businesses and organisations to have a kind of Facebook profile and stay in touch with people interested in what they do. Folksy has done some super articles on how to use them to promote your handmade business (like this one here) and I’m really starting to love mine.

This recent exploration has turned up some lovely, lovely things that I thought I’d share:

1.

Bekki Churcher here is from Glasgow and her gorgeous, almost fragile looking work is inspired by urban decay – she uses some beautiful textures to evoke the broken buildings that inspire her and her ‘geomatric granulation’ is especially wonderful. It reminds me of Ruth Tomlinson somehow crossed with Elaine Cox

2.

Hannah Livingston is based in Edinburgh and her fascination with hidden secrets and quirky little containers makes her work beautifully intricate and utterly tempting. Many of her neat little lockets contain folded paper – forming a story of your own just that’s just waiting to unfold.

3.

Rebecca Little is another Glasgow resident whose work is both deceptively simple and fiendishly clever – as the best things often are. Delicate twists in precious metals are all lined up neatly to form textile like structures that would, I imagine, flow through your hands rather nicely and defy the solid, mathematical look of them.

I’ll keep hunting through Facebook in the small hours – though if you’ve got a suggestion for a page you love do leave me a comment!

Follow Friday : The Night Sky

posted in: Jewellery 1

I woke up yesterday morning at 4.30am.

There was no particular reason for this, I guess that sometimes your brain can just decide ‘yep, you’ve had enough sleep now’ and wakefullness is forced upon you. It’s all terribly unfair.
But, as I lay in bed, slightly frustrated that I’d beaten the alarm by 3 hours, I noticed the stars.

I used to stare at the night sky a lot as a child. It seems that I’ve just been too busy lately. Isn’t that sad?

Right now I can’t recall what was so important that I couldn’t just take a minute to see something as big and beautiful as the sky.

So this collection is all about the stars in the hope that you’ll find a minute or two just to stare for a while …

Top Left: Constellation Earrings by Lolariera

Top Right: Constellation Earrings by Grace Handmade Jewelry

Lower Left: Leo Contellation Necklace by MiniCyn

Lower Right: Cassiopeia’s Crown by COGnitivecreations