Sunday, 19 August 2018

Copper — for a Start

How to Fit a Ring — Long Distance

Someone in England has asked if I could custom make a ring. Of course I could but being sure it will fit is the issue. The first step was to find a North American size to match the British and Australian so I would be able to size it on my ring mandrel. Years ago, that might have been tricky but the internet changed everything. I found a chart that gave me a target size. Great, but I wouldn't want to just trust a chart, make the ring, then find out it didn't fit. The cost and hassle of shipping it back and forth for adjustment would be unacceptable.

Copper to the Rescue

Here is my solution — a quickly assembled, made from scrap, copper ring. Nothing fancy but I can mail this to her and she can tell me if I would need need to make the real thing a bit larger or smaller.

Here it is being hammered to make  it round (and adjust size a bit) on my steel mandrel. Like I said, not fancy.

Ring in the Rough

Well, I did sand it enough that it won't be painful to try it on!

Monday, 13 August 2018

A Ring Story

More Bench Work

Back on April 20, I posted the story of making a ring from the client's inherited gem stones. I liked the overlap design so much that I made another and set it with one aquamarine. That sold as soon as I listed it. Still drawn to the possibilities of that style of shank, I decided to try another version. Here is how that went.

The first photos (also shown in April) outline the basics of creating the shank.

 I copied the pattern (for once, I had the sense to actually make a pattern and keep a copy). That made cutting the shank easy.

Sure glad I bought that pair of shaping pliers.

The tricky bit is getting the shank to round up on the mandrel — an easy chore when the ring is soldered shut but hard to do when the ends are loose. It took quite a bit of time.

Pretty Ballsy ;-)

When you create jump rings, there are always short bits of wire left from trimming the ends as you take the wound wire off the mandrel. I gather those up, set them on a charcoal block and melt them.

The clips quickly form into tiny silver balls which  I keep on hand to embellish pieces. Because the wire ends are not all the same length, the balls vary in size.

For this ring, I wanted to line up three balls along the edge of the overlap so I secured the ring close to my bench pin and used tweezers to select balls from my storage box and drop them into the round container in the foreground. Once I had three the same size, I was ready to place them.

Place, Solder and Polish. . . 

. . . AND Polish — a Lot 

I wonder if I have exhausted all the possibilities this design has to offer. I guess time will tell.

This ring will be coming to my DixSterling etsy shop soon. It might even be included in etsy's Labor Day sale, so keep checking ;-)

Life is Not Only About Jewelry

For the moment, I have to run. A bunch of peaches on the dining room table are ready for canning!