Wednesday, 14 November 2018

November at the Bench

Another Pair of Chopstick Earrings

Back in September, I posted about making a pair of sapphire "chopstick" dangles for our daughter's birthday gift.


I really like the design, so I made this pair — sans stones. Now in my etsy shop, they are pretty cute, too.

Measuring for Next Pair



With the holiday party season ahead, I thought I should make another pair, and add some glitter. Here is a look at the process.

The dangles are made from 16 gauge square sterling silver wire. My calipers let me measure four lengths of wire to make two earrings.  Each pair has one wire slightly longer than the other. I like the asymmetrical look.

My previous post shows the wire and tube cutter I use to prep the pieces, so I'll skip that here.


Adding Some Holiday Sparkle


This photo shows my rotary tool with a 3mm stone setting burr along side my sparkle — 3 mm cubic zirconia stones. They are not diamonds, but they offer a pretty good sparkle! The tiny box also holds the tubes I use to set the stones into the earrings.

This design is a bit demanding. As you can see, the parts are all quite delicate. Setting big stones is, for sure, much easier on the nerves.



In this photo, the ring the piece will hang from has been soldered to the top. I placed the tube between the legs and used a felt tip marker to guide me  when I position it on the soldering block. Yes, the stone is there, but not set (I just wanted to admire the effect!). Stone setting happens after all soldering is done.


Almost Ready to Party the Night Away


I still have to finish the second one and polish the pair but you get the idea. The sun came out this morning, so I took some photos and will be able to post these at DixSterling soon.

Friday, 9 November 2018

How to Spin

Creating a Spinner Ring

Spinner rings have become very popular in recent years. I am not sure why it took me so long to get around to making one but when I did, I really enjoyed the process.

Ring One - The Base

To make a spinner ring I created two sterling rings — one wider than the other. One also a touch bigger than the other. The first, the base, measures 3/8 inch wide. I sized it to 7 1/2 (US ring size). Because the spinner covers part of it, I did a pretty thorough polishing job before I assembled them.



Ring Two - the Spinner

The second ring was cut from another, thinner, piece of sterling sheet. I made it just over 1/8 inch wide and cut the length a touch longer than I would need for size 7 1/2. I textured this one  with my riveting hammer to give it a sparkle.




Need a Perfect Fit

Fit is what makes these work. I rounded and sized that spinner on my steel ring mandrel until it would slip over the base ring. If it were too tight, it wouldn't spin; if too loose, it would be very difficult to flare the edges of the base ring enough to hold it it place.

I didn't take photos of the process of hammering the ring atop a steel ball — hands were busy ;-) The process very much like using rivets. You flare one edge first and, when the spinner can no longer slip over that, place the spinner and flare the opposite edge. It's a great project for when you feel like pounding on something. Lots of hammer work to round up the rings, texture the spinner, and flare both sides!

Ready Set, Spin