Inherited Pearl Ring

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This ring began when a client brought me a row of pearls that she’d inherited. I work with pearls a lot, I trained as pearl stringer after university and so I have a good understanding of them and an appreciation for their qualities.

The main issue with any pearl taken from a row of pearls is that it has a hole drilled all the way through it. This usually makes it unsuitable for setting into rings or studs, as you’re restricted by the visibility of the hole.

However, this client wanted a ring to allow her to keep one of the inherited pearls close to her and after a little thought we came up with a design that would allow this.

Design:

Her saltwater pearls are a wonderfully warm, creamy colour so while the bulk of the ring would be silver I added a touch of 9ct red gold to bring out this warmth. The high sides of the setting are designed to protect the relatively soft pearl which is riveted into the ring using the existing drill hole.

In the end we opted for a fusion of designs A & B, squaring the corners of the box holding the pearl and making the setting entirely out of red gold.

Making:

Soldering the gold setting onto the silver ring was a tricky process. The whole thing needed to be kept square and parallel or the two sides wouldn’t grip the pearl correctly. After a bit of trial and error I rigged something up on a honeycomb soldering block that kept it all in line so that I could solder the two metals together.

A bit of cleaning up followed that before I could polish the ring (to bring out the hammer marks on the silver) and check the fit of the pearl with a piece of wire:

Once it was riveted into place the pearl sat perfectly within the red gold ‘box’ setting and balanced the ring nicely. It’s a neat, geometric solution to using a pearl from a necklace and I love that I’m allowing inherited jewellery to continue to be used and enjoyed.

Finished Ring:

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: Palladium and Ruby Engagement Ring

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Ruby Palladium Engagement Ring

This palladium engagement ring is designed to sit as a pair with the diamond one that I made last year, for a couple of ladies who are getting married this summer. I was a joy to make the ‘other half’ of their engagement rings so that they have a set with such similar characters.

This ring needed to be very practical and include a favourite gem of the bride to be: rubies. With that in mind it seemed that using small, flush set stones would be best as she’ll be able to leave it on all day at work without worry.

Palladium and Ruby Engagement Ring Sketches

The original ring had a twisted, raised ‘edge’ which ran all the way around it, highlighted by a bright polish against the matt finish on the body of the ring. I’ve accentuated this twist at the front of the new ring, widening it to give me space to add a little thread of rubies that sit within the curve and ‘flow’ around the ring.

We’ve kept the same, durable matt finish on this ring which really shows off the polished edge of the wave and the sparkle of the subtle sparkle of the stones:Ruby Palladium Engagement Ring by Becca Williams Jewellery Designer

 

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

Commission: Palladium & Diamond Engagement Ring

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At the start of the year I made this diamond and palladium engagement ring, for some friends who will be getting married next year. Now that the proposal has happened (and she said ‘yes’) I’m safe to post the photographs without ruining the surprise!

Palladium Diamond Wave Engagement Ring

This ring was designed to be really wearable, but still have a substantial bit of sparkle about it, with a prominent central diamond that’s set quote low – so as not to scratch and catch.

It has a really subtle, curved knife section band, with a comfortable rounded side which sits on your finger and a soft point that faces outwards, forming that bright, polished line which runs around the band and draws your eye right along to the diamond.

The diamond itself is Canadian, a beautiful Princess Cut which is securely set in a bezel.

Here’s how it was made, from drawings to ring:

 

Commission: ‘Braided River’ Silver & Topaz Ring

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I love an original commission and the brief for this one was sent to me by a hydrologist (who studies water and is especially fond of rivers). She wanted to replace her engagement ring and use the blue topaz that had originally been in it in something new.

She sent me some images of braided rivers, to see what I could come up with and I couldn’t have been happier! I find aerial landscape photography particularly fascinating plus, way back in sixth form I did one of my first ever jewellery design projects focusing on rivers!

A while spent playing around with the idea of interwoven tributaries eventually formed into this:

Silver Topaz Ring Design drawings

A wire wrapped silver band where the strands of silver flow around and under the setting like a river ’round an island.

Here’s how this tricky bit of soldering came together:

making the silver and topaz braided river ring Making Silver and Topaz Braided River Ring Collage 2sm Becca Williams Jewellery

And finished up in a band that made a really personal new ring that my customer loved:

silver and topaz braided river engagement ring

Tidal Pearl Rings

Becca Williams Tidal Pearl Ring 300dpi

 

Looking back at the blog, as I tend to do at this time of year, it’s become pretty obvious that I’ve made a fair few rings recently and, on balance, I’m pretty happy about that.

For a while I’ve been asked at shows and fairs if ‘I do that as a ring’ and whether I ‘make rings to commission’ (answer: yes, I’ll make anything to commission …) and I’ve spent some time during 2014 designing rings to sit alongside my existing work (like these stacking Flotsam ones) and to inspire new collections for the coming year. Here’s the final new addition to the online store in 2014:

Estuary Rings

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Back in September, at the Malvern Autumn Show, I got asked to make some smaller earrings for my Estuary range and, when I did, it became pretty obvious that they’d look really cute on rings too!

So here they are:

Becca WIlliams Mini Estuary Earrings Etched Silver Ring 72dpi

 

… and here’s how they came together:

Etched Estuary Rings

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Estuary Etched Silver Rings 7The stripey, coastal etching on my Estuary collection has long been a favourite of mine and, for the first time, I’ve gotten around to putting it onto some rings. I went with a plain, simple band to really make the most of the etching and I’m really happy with the bold, distinctive way that they’ve turned out.

They’ll be on my stand at fairs all winter and at the Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds too.

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 …

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