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.

 

 

Morganite & Yellow Gold Ring

On the left is a costume jewellery ring and, on the right, a 9ct yellow gold, morganite and white sapphire ‘copy’ made to order for a client who loved the feel of this ring but not the materials!

An aspiring jewellery designer herself the client had an existing mold, made a few years ago, which she had never used to produce a ring. I was able to use that mold to produce wax copies and then modify them to suit the styles of stone setting that we had chosen.

I filled in the top of the ring with extra wax and carved new setting faces onto the inner slopes. This provided a better surface to set the beautiful, cushion cut, Morganite that we’d chosen.

Once cast the ring looked quite rough so I set about cleaning it up at the bench, taking off harsh marks left from adding wax and removing the fine, matt texture that had been left by the lost wax casting process. After fully sanding the ring I polished it, bringing the whole surface up to a uniform finish. With the central stone selected I matched up nearly 30 small, white, sapphires to form a glittering band around the top edge of the ring.

After setting the ring with the cushion cut Morganite, and a band of white sapphires, I plated the top face with bright, white rhodiumm. This pale canvas really brings out the colour of the Morganite and makes the peachy tones of it pop:

 

Commission: River Ring in Silver & Topaz

Last week I finished off this Eternity Ring, a commission inspired by the Braided River ring that I made a couple of months ago. It’s a silver wedding anniversary gift and is designed to sit alongside an existing topaz engagement ring.

It needed to have a slightly simpler feel to it than the original ring so I did a few sketches and we eventually settled on just the two ‘waves’ but added a more obvious line of stones – to evoke the feel of a traditional Eternity Ring.

Topaz and Silver Ring Sketches

Putting it together required some tricky soldering to line up and fix the settings (which sit in a wave, not easy to mark out):

Making  Topaz and Silver Eternity Ring by Becca Williams

and then to add the wires which made up the wave outlines:Making  Topaz and Silver Eternity Ring by Becca Williams 2

Topaz and Silver Eternity Ring by Becca Williams

After a couple of tense moments under the flame I polished it up to a glossy shine and set it with a single sky blue topaz and four clear, white topaz.

The final result looks pretty special:

Eternity Ring Blue & White Topaz by Becca WilliamsEternity Ring Blue & White Topaz by Becca Williams 2

Handmade Britain: Chelsea Nov 14

posted in: Events 0

 

Handmade Britain is just over a week away and, with some wonderful exhibitors on show here’s who I’m particularly looking forward to seeing:

beautifully layered colours from Linda Barletta/Sheen Pottery

Dish by Sheen Pottery
Dish by Sheen Pottery

 


raw edged silver vessels from Edward Mahony at  CreatStudio

Hand Raised silver vessels by CreatStudio
Hand Raised silver vessels by CreatStudio

richly coloured leather bags from Jane Hopkinson

Jane Hopkinson Leather Bags
Jane Hopkinson Leather Bags

delightfully textured metal from Jenny Balson Jewellery

Jenny Balson Jewellery
Jenny Balson Jewellery

looping, sculptural rings from Ellen Monaghan

Ring by Ellen Monaghan
Ring by Ellen Monaghan

and soft, subtle glazes from Sian Patterson

Sian Patterson Studio Ceramics
Cylinders by Sian Patterson Studio Ceramics

see the full exhibitor listing here

Commission: Bird Bracelet

A few weeks ago I made this cute little silver bird bracelet, as a wedding gift:

 

Becca Williams silver chain bird silhouette bracelet 3smsq


With one catch but two chains the layout makes the little birds look like they’re just swooping past each other in the air as they hang on your wrist.

Here are a few work in progress images:

… do get in touch if you’d like a commission of your own

Stacks of Flotsam Rings …

Becca Williams stacking rings in progress

I spent some time this week working on an idea for a new design of stacking rings, to compliment my Flotsam range, with hammered textures and a couple of different shades of freshwater pearls:

They’ll be winging there way out to my galleries soon …

British Craft Trade Fair 2012

posted in: Events, exhibition 4

I spent the weekend at the British Craft Trade Fair introducing some of my work to trade buyers and getting the first real public reaction to the new beachcomber pieces. I’ve never independantly taken my work to a trade show before but the whole expereince was overwhelmingly positive.

The show had over 400 stands filled with handmade, british contemporary craft and the high standard of the work on show was inspiring. It was wonderful to be in such creative company and everyone was so nice. Working on your own it’s easy to forget how many other people are working and learning about handmaking all the time too – and I swapped a few good stories and bits of advice with the other exhibitors.

Anyway, it wasn’t all about us jewellers talking shop – here’s how my stand looked for the show:

I’m really quite pleased with how much I got into a 1m x 2m space and the clean minimal look that the white walls gave it all. I generally have more space at retail shows but I think I’ll keep using this set up, only with a bigger table top …

Handmade Market – Kenilworth

posted in: Events 1

I spent Saturday having a lovely time at the Handmade Market in the gorgeous castle town of Kenilworth.

It’s a brand new venture set up by Amy (of Amos Denton Designs) and Julia (of Bodkin and Bead) who recognised (and quite rightly too) that there’s not a whole lot going in in the Warwickshire craft world. Some new markets have sprung up in the Midlands in the last few years and it’s really encourging to see that they’re being well recieved.

This weekends market was the first and I was pleasantly suprised about how many people made the short walk out of the Town Centre to St Johns Church to visit. The market featured a small but really well balanced selection of makers including:

Amos Denton Designs
and me ... obviously

The markets will now be held monthly so do pop along on the 12th of March to have a look at who’s exhibiting then.