Thursday, 3 December 2015

December Already!

Back to the Bench This Week

I was super busy for a couple of weeks but finally got back to the bench this week and picked up a couple of projects I had started earlier. Here is the first (sorry it's a very blurry photo but I hope it gives you the idea).


I came up with the idea for this ring some time ago but wasn't sure how to go about it. At one point, I tried to do a lost wax casting with two upright prongs to hold a bead but the wax blew apart during the melt out (they do that sometimes). Discouraged, I set the idea aside and went on to other things.

The other day, while cleaning up things on the bench, I found the silver bead and thought I'd try something different. I cut a 1/4 inch wide strip of sterling, gave it a hammered texture and drilled a hole in one end. Then I forged it into an overlapping circle (similar to my overlap topaz pinky ring <https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/100435292/pinky-ring-topaz-on-sterling-overlap?ref=shop_home_active_2> and soldered the join. The final step was to shape the free end to curve over the spot where the bead was to go (had to re-anneal the metal to get it to take the shape), torch bead the end of a sterling wire and thread that through both hole and bead. Then I bent and filed the wire end and soldered it to the ring shank to trap the bead.

Setting an Emerald Cut Sapphire


The other project I lined up involved a deep blue, emerald cut, man made sapphire.


You know how I loved reticulated sterling so it was probably a given that I would choose that for the sapphire pendant.

Here is the stone sitting atop a piece of reticulated silver so I could decide on the best bit to use. You can see where I previously cut the triangular mounting for that citrine pin/pendant. Once I selected a suitable area, I marked and cut a rectangle somewhat larger than the stone. I also forged a bail from polished sterling to let the pendant hang from a chain.

The Two Projects — One Done, One Not


Here are the ring and the sapphire — the ring finished and the pendant just being checked to get a proper fit on the stone.


On Wednesday, I polished the wee ring, photographed it and listed it at <www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DixSterling>.

On Thursday afternoon, I went on with setting the sapphire. It is always a fussy job, what with wrapping the silver in painter's tape to protect it from the setting tools and making minute adjustments to the claw setting so it will accept the stone. Then you have to lower the stone into place and hold it level while gently but firmly closing the claws onto the corners.

Pendant — Ready to Wear