21 November 2010

Rings Are The Thing!

As I said in my last post, my metals and jewelry class is my favorite (no surprise there!), and our latest project was to make a ring. I knew I wanted to do a ring with a bezel setting, but that technique is not taught until the second semester. I was determined to go ahead with my idea, however, and so I looked up articles on how to do a bezel setting online, and went for it on my own.

I did several practice rings before starting my ring to turn in. My first ring was a copper band with a design stamped on it. I am still pretty new at soldering, and I figured it would be cheaper to screw up on copper, rather than my silver sheet.

After I finished that one, and started to get an idea of designs, I did a couple of silver stamped bands for my daughters. Once I had done those (and melted one of my attempts), I felt I was ready to take the plunge, and started on my silver ring. I bought a number of cool, vintage glass millefiori cabochons earlier in the year, and decided to set one in my ring. I cut a simple flower shape, and bezel set the cab in the center. The first time I soldered the bezel on it soldered on perfectly (I thought), but popped off when I put it in the pickling solution. The second time it stayed on, and I burnished the bezel down over the cabochon. There were a few gaps that I could not get to go down, so my teacher showed me the trick of getting them to sit flush with a rounded steel tool and a rawhide mallet. Then I filed and sanded all the tool marks off, and viola! a beautiful new ring!

I wanted to practice setting some more, and I loved the flower ring design, so I did my usual thing, and made two more rings in the same design, but in different metals - one in copper and one in brass. They are so cute! My final project in that class is my choice, so I have been working on a tribal-style necklace design, using a big, beautiful onyx cabochon a friend gave me. There are only a couple of weeks of classes after the break, so I will have to be ready to go on this piece as soon as the break is over. I will, of course, post pictures of it when it is done.

Thanks for stopping in, and letting me share my work with you!

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