Monday, 26 August 2013

Custom Order

August 26

Got back to the bench today and made progress on that pair of rings for Glasgow pals.
The prototype, available in my shop, is in the tweezers. It is a size 4 1/2. Not right for either of these best of friends, hence the custom work.

Here, the two ring blanks have been cut, filed and sanded to a preliminary finish with all edges rounded. I've stamped my maker's mark and the recipients' initials on what will become the inside of the rings. Best friends with the same initials - perfect.
  

The Original and a Start on Two More


Work in Progress
Here are the blanks with the matched stones. I really love topaz in all its colors. Imperial topaz displays warm golden shades. Colorless stones are often used in place of diamonds but can be irradiated and heat-treated to produce lovely blues. The paler shades are known as Swiss Blue (I have a smashing pair of square-cut Swiss Blues that I plan to set soon). A stunning, deep sky-blue shade is known as London Blue.


Handcrafting, One Step at a Time

On the right, both rings have been roughly shaped into circles. I will file the underlying end to make good contact so I can solder the join. Once that is done, I will use that rawhide hammer to hammer the rings into perfect circles on the metal ring mandrel.

I also have to use a burr to create a seat for each of the stones in a piece of sterling tubes then cut those to length and solder them to the rings. That will be followed by some serious polishing. The last step is setting the stones and burnishing the rim down to hold them securely in place.