Sunday, January 3, 2010

Don’t work too long -or shit happens!

This is the sad story of what happens if you get stubborn and work too long and until too late. There is a happy end though!

I had set out to create an open ring with 3 branches, carrying a flower, a large bezel set stone and a butterfly. It’s winter, so I’m dreaming about the warm summer days and hence chose a large citrine, a juicy green peridot and some warm gold to set off the silver.

Here the bezel is about done, the ring shank is roughly there, I have cut the flower from a piece of 1 mm sheet and I’ve happily laid out the stones that I was considering to use: A large, dark citrine, lucious peridots and perhaps a few yellow sapphires for good measure:

At this stage I wasn't entirely setteled on the finished design and kept myself open to changing the design I had in mind as I went. This is how I usually work and the result is usually quite good. Then I domed the flower, shaped the bezel conically and soldered it together.

After attaching the butterfly and filing off all surfaces of the ring shank, I soldered in the 5 little golden balls and set the peridot in the flower. Then I started setting the lovely citrine. And then disaster struck! I hadn’t filed the walls of the bezel thin enough, had to apply too much pressure to fit it over the stone – and BROKE it! I was almost crying! This stone was so special and I had saved it up for an equally special design :-(

Okay… after a few deep breaths and looking at the clock – I had now spent 13 hours in the workshop (yes, creating other stuff too) and it was 10 in the evening, I decided for a plan B: I cut off the upper brim of the bezel, freeing the damaged stone and filed it flush. Then I found a new stone, slightly smaller. I happened to have a light amethyst that would fit, so I cut new shoulders for it in the now smaller bezel. This time I didn’t want to make the same mistake and filed the sides very thin to make sure that the setting would be easy. Alas, I filed away too much, which became evident when I pushed the bezel over the stone – a crack formed along the edge, leaving the stone to rattle around. Now I was seriously almost crying!

But I just refused to let all this work being in vain, so I took a few pictures to remember the design:

And then I cut off the entire branch holding that unfortunate bezel. I smoothed the cut out to invisibility and repositioned the butterfly.

It’s a completely different ring, but after the initial disappointment, I started to value it for its own beauty. It’s simpler and the butterfly gets to play a more distinct role. When you wear the ring, the butterfly is hovering about 5 mm above your hand, while the flower appears to be nestled between two fingers opposite. I’m happy with it, but I will most definitely create a new version of the 3-branched original design, since it was more sumptuous –and I love sumptuous *grin*

And THEN to bed!!!


  1. Its pretty amazing how sometimes the unintended design turns out to be quite beautiful, isn't it? All the best to you in 2010!

  2. Wow! Despite the 'boo boo's' it is still an absolutely scrumptious ring! Good luck with your next one! :)

  3. Thank you!
    Now I don't feel quite as stupid...

  4. I think the ring was talking to you. Because your end result (obviously what the design wanted to be) is just gorgeous and stunning.

  5. I like it better the way it turned out! Gorgeous!

  6. Your designs are absolutely to die for - and it is very gratifying to get a view into how your designs get into being.
    *curses that my purse is empty*