Sunday, January 10, 2010

When intuition takes over

I got this amazing stone sent to me from Thailand. It’s a orange red 0.85 CT spessartite garnet from Namibia –not very large, just 6 x 5 mm, but oh so lovely! For this ring the only thing I knew was, that I wanted to bezel set the stone, use a few smaller orange sapphires and probably slice up the ring shank. But no sketches were involved, which is rare. I went completely intuitive about it!

But first the ring shank. A while ago I purchased quite a bit of 4 mm thick wire. I needed it for a specific setting and only a wholesale supplier had it –but wouldn’t sell less than 250 grams to me! Since I don’t have a rolling mill, I had been looking at all that lovely silver for ages and not knowing what to do. But now I do! I wack it with my hammer and use it for organic looking ring shanks, yes I do:

Then I cut off the approximate length I wanted and sliced it from one side. Sawing 2 mm thick silver takes forever and it gets very hot! I bent it (again: tough job when it’s that thick, even thoroughly annealed) and decided to slice the other side too

While that one cooled off, I created the bezel setting for the garnet from a piece of tube and shaping it oval and conical using a bezel block (my latest favorite tool!). Then I fixed it to the end of a redundant file with some tar and ground out the shoulders for the stone to sit on.

First joint –the bezel to the ring.

I popped in the stone and put the ring on. Now what?

This is when I used white a bit of time in my mind shaping those 3 left over flames one way or another. When I was satisfied with the picture in my head, I set out creating it in real life and added the two smaller bezels for the sapphires (again two pieces of tube).

Very deliberately I used an extra coarse file to shape the flames and left it like that. I like this structure as a contrast to the shining stones!

And here is the finished result: More pictures of it can be found in my Etsy shop here.

I love this one and will work like this a bit more often.

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