Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fragile Strength :: Ring A Week No. 21

While walking my dog several days ago I found a few broken robin egg shell fragments on the sidewalk. As I examined the pieces, I marveled at how thin and fragile they are, yet strong enough to shelter and protect a developing bird.

Robin egg blue is one of the prettiest colors. As I admired the smooth lustre of the shell fragment, I imagined it set in a ring. In fact, I knew I had to try it. I designed and constructed the ring using cold connections, to eliminate torch work that would destroy the shell. I made two convex rings, one that nests inside the other. The smaller of the two provides support for the shell and holds it in place beneath the larger convex ring. I made a larger flat ring that fits over the two convex pieces, holding them in place. I secured the assembly to the shank with two tiny rivets.

I am pleased with how the ring turned out, although despite being as careful as possible during fabrication, there is a small, hairline crack in the shell. It is nearly invisible but I am still disappointed that I cracked it.

While not a practical ring at all, it was so much fun to make.

By the way, while googling robin eggs I came across this plastic surgery site with an amazing photo of a broken robin egg reconstructed with microplates used to repair facial fractures. How cool! Click here to check out the photo.

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