Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ring A Week No. 26

For my 26th Ring A Week ring, I etched my delicate vine branch design into sterling and then hand cut the intricate shape, soldering it to a hand fabricated sterling brand. I oxidized it for contrast. I really like the dimension and texture of this vine branch. This ring gave me some trouble that I did not anticipate. The delicate vine was so fragile that it broke in a couple places. I had intended for it to remain in one piece, although I think it looks fine as separate pieces encircling the band. Solder did not flow properly and it took me a couple of tries. I also had some issues with firescale which took some work to clean up. Do you recognize the branch? I also used this motif for Ring A Week No. 14. The two rings are very different.

I've also made a matching pendant (below) which is now for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Hummingbird :: Ring A Week No. 25

I recently found a dead male hummingbird in our yard. I hoped he was merely stunned, but upon closer inspection it became clear that he was deceased. I buried him in a pleasant area near some bushes and pondered the life of this small, amazing creature, one of my favorite birds. My friend, Kathy, suggested I create a piece of jewelry "to honor and celebrate the fragile, yet beautiful life of the hummingbird. It reminds us that all life is fragile." Another friend, Julie, suggested creating one of my Ring A Week rings in his honor. I thought these were lovely ideas.

This ring has resulted from their suggestions and from some design motifs I've been working with lately. I hand cut the tiny hummingbird and flowers from a sheet of 14K gold and soldered them to a sterling circle which I then cupped and soldered to a hand fabricated sterling band. I oxidized the silver and I really love the striking contrast between the blackened silver and the gold. This ring is one of my personal favorites, perhaps my favorite piece that I've created to date.

Below is the ring before I oxidized it. I've also posted some progress photos to my facebook business page, which you can see here.

I've made several other mixed metal pieces combining silver and gold that are now available in my new Etsy Shop Here are four of them:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ring A Week No. 24

For my twenty-fourth Ring A Week ring, I melted sterling silver scrap into a ring shape. I wanted to preserve its interesting, undulating edges and organic form, while forming it into a functional ring. Below is the ring shape I started with. I used my hammer and files to create the finished piece above.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pebble Ring :: Ring A Week No. 23

I recently melted down my gold scrap and made some little 14k gold balls. I soldered several balls together, intending for them to look like round bubbles floating on the band. I didn't like the look of it. The balls were too round and they looked odd connected to each other but with open space between them. They did not look like bubbles. I then flattened the tops of the balls a bit, gave each a more organic shape, and then soldered them to a sterling background, cutting a nice contour around the gold pebbles and finally soldering the assembly to a sterling band. I oxidized the silver for contrast and I really like how the dark background shows off the gold pebbles. I'm happy with how this piece turned out.