Friday, April 30, 2010

A green tourmaline finds its home

A few months ago I wrote a happy post about how I was inspired by the tattoo artists for drawing my sketches and I wowed you a drawing of a ring which I had just gotten into commission. Well I thought you might to know what happened and so here are the pictures of the process. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make good (as in well-lit) pictures of the final ring, so please bear with me!

Right, my customer had fallen in love with an amazing green tourmaline. No wonder. The color was seriously sumptuous and hence she decided she wanted a gold bezel for it in order to bring out the color to its max. 

Here are the drawings:
I started with a piece of 14 carat gold sheet, bent it to fit the stone (barely – with the bezel block you end up widening the bezel a bit, so do create a too tight bezel!)
  After working it on the oval bezel block and a bit with the pliers to make a perfect fit, it looks like this
Then I sanded down the sides to level and ground out the seating for the stone with a seating burr until the fit was snug. Finally I sanded down the brim for an easier setting
I created the ring shank from a 2 mm thick piece of silver, which I filed to an organic shape. I fit in the golden tapered bezel and placed the opposite tube bezel for one of the white sapphires before connecting with the curl
After soldering on the last tube bezel plus a number of balls I set the sapphire closest to the large golden bezel was ready to set the big tourmaline
Here all stones have been set and I have brushed on some LOS where it made sense. I like using LOS for the crevices – where the silver will grow dark eventually and in order to give the shapes of the pieces a bit more optical dimension. After this stage I polished most of it away again
And here is the finished ring
This was a lovely piece to create, especially with the combination of the deep green stone and the gold. I have just ordered more green tourmalines so more to come!

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