Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ring A Week Number 5

I've wanted to make something with this green druzy agate cabochon for some time. Its surface reminds me of hills and valleys and its color and sparkle remind me of fresh, rain-kissed springtime. As I look out my studio window at gloomy skies and a snowy yard, I yearn for spring. I found a line from a poem by Alice Duer Miller that sums up what comes to mind (and what I long for) when I look at this stone: "the light of spring on the emerald earth." (read the entire public domain poem here). I've hand written and etched these words into the sterling band of this hand fabricated ring. I've also etched the author's name on the back of the ring, above my maker's mark. The words are lightly oxidized for contrast.

I enjoyed making this ring for the Ring A Week Challenge. I don't do a lot of stone setting, so this was also good practice for me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Family Craftsmen and Ring A Week Number 4

My dad is a talented woodworker as was my grandfather. I am fortunate to have really beautiful wood pieces made by both of them. Inspired by the abilities of these men in my family, I've been experimenting with a bit of woodworking myself, considering possible ways to incorporate wood into my jewelry designs.

While visiting my family over the recent holidays, my dad gave me some pieces of walnut wood leftover from my grandfather's workshop. Over the past few weeks I've enjoyed experimenting with the wood, learning to work with it and respecting its differences from the metal I am familiar with. For my fourth ring for the Ring A Week Challenge I have made this ring from a piece of walnut and I've riveted my sterling silver heart design to the walnut band.

I wanted to also try cutting an intricate design in wood so after finishing the ring, I hand cut this walnut heart with a design similar to the sterling silver heart:

I look forward to continuing my experiments with woodworking.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ring A Week Number 3

For my third ring in the Ring A Week challenge, I've created a Floral Branch Ring to add to my Floral Branch Collection. This hand fabricated ring was hand cut from a sheet of sterling silver using my jeweler's hand saw, formed and then soldered. I really enjoy cutting intricate shapes and find this work to be meditative and relaxing. I was happy with the result, although there are modifications I would make to a second ring.

Below are some photos of the ring in process, showing the various stages of piercing, freeing the ring from the silver sheet.

And here are some other pieces in my Floral Branch Collection:

The Ring A Week Flickr pool grows with each day and there are many wonderful rings being created for this challenge. Check it out here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

To have faith is to have wings :: RAW #2

"To have faith is to have wings." I love this quote from Peter Pan by James Matthew Barrie. For my second ring in the Ring A Week Challenge, I've hand written and etched this quote, along with the author's name, onto this hand fabricated sterling silver ring featuring my etched wings design. I've oxidized this piece to enhance the etched wings and words, but as with my last ring I also really liked the brushed silver version:

If you'd like to see the rings by others participating in the Ring A Week Challenge, please check out the photos posted in the Flickr group.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ring A Week Challenge

This year I am participating in the Ring a Week Challenge. Participating artists will make one ring each week and post it to the Flickr group. I intend to also blog about each ring I create. This challenge was inspired by last year's Ring a Day challenge. While I didn't participate last year (I didn't think I could keep up), I really enjoyed seeing the creativity of the artists who participated and I'm excited about taking part in this new challenge for 2011.

For my first ring, I made this etched sterling silver band, pictured above. I painted random marks directly onto the band and then scratched through the center of each mark with a fine, sharp tool before etching the band. The result is a deeply textured ring. While my intent was simply a ring with abstract, textured marks, I see feathers, wings, soaring birds in this etched design; a happy accident.

I considered leaving the ring brushed silver. I really liked the delicate frosty appearance, but I chose to oxidize the band to highlight the texture. Below is the ring before I oxidized it.