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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Simple Beginnings A Ring From 2 Beads And A Wire

The color of the two focals is the inspiration for this ring.  The butter cream Miriam Haskell half drilled pearl sets off the caramel of the handmade glass disk. The wire is 16 gauge round Argentium silver
The first step is to put a right angle bend in the wire and start to form a spiral around the upright.
Next fit the bottom focal and make sure there is more than enough wire to hold the second.
Place the coil on top of the mandrel about 3/4 of a size smaller than your finished size.
Pull the wire around the mandrel and past the coil. Next lift the coil and slide the wire under the middle near to the other wire.
Pass the wire around the mandrel and bring it up to the top. Cut it off at the edge of the coil. Then tuck it in to lie next to the other shank wire.
Place the ring onto a fire brick or soldering block and add a bit of solder then hit it with the torch bringing the metal to a cherry red and the silver will flow where it touches.  After the metal fuses and the solder flows we will need to cool the ring and place it on the ring mandrel to finish forming.
Here you can see the coil is fused and the piece is ready for finishing. I gave it a light buff and put it into the tumbler for 3 hours. At the end of that time the pin was filed down and trimmed to fit the two focal pieces. E-6000 glue was added to the coil and the glass was placed then glue on the bottom of the pearl and it slid onto the post and allowed to set.
A simple warm colored ring is the result.
Glue was cleaned off where ever it showed.
The finished product ready for sale at Oscarcrow at Etsy.com

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An Egyptian Themed Ring

 This combination of parts has been rolling around on my work top for a while. This morning they got close enough to be recognized as a ring. The flying scarab is formed and curved but in a way that would make a weak point if a mounting is riveted to the top.
 I annealed the piece with the torch and then pounded the wings with a ball peen hammer.
Next I used a dapping block and punch to deepen the curve to match the profile of the crown mount. After getting them to match I punched a 3/32 hole through each.
 The next step is to use E-6000 glue to strengthen the joint with a tube rivet or eyelet.
 Put a good amount of glue on the top of the ring and push the eyelet through.
 Next add the bug and more glue.
Add enough glue to grab the back of the crown mount wherever it hits the bug.
 Stacked all together and riveted part way to grab the parts. Then fine tune the alignment between the shank, center part and the mount. Then finish the rivet to full tightness.
 Here is the final look with the red glass stone mounted.
Finally the ring is ready for sale. It looks as if the beetle is about to take off with the gem on its back.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heart Strings attached.

 When making components like these two hearts there is always the question of how to attach the piece to a chain or other structure like a filigree or stamping. The raku heart has holes formed into the sides to wire it to something. With this metal heart I did not want to just punch a hole marring the textures that I worked so hard to achieve.
 The solution is a simple one involving a square or round wire and looping pliers.
 Placing the wire into the jaws at the base I pulled the wire around to form a loop.
 The wire was then straightened so it will lie flat on the heart.
 I chose to leave the loop unclosed to add jump rings later.
 Using a third hand, that is a pair of fire tweezers locked into a base, I placed the loop against the heart. Using flux free copper solder in wire form I brought in the torch and heated the mass of the heart to red and the solder flowed along the wire loop. Repeat this for the second loop.
 The whole needs to be pickled for a while then the solder cleaned up a bit. Next I polished the heart and using Swellegant Darkening Fluid turned the bright bronze heart to a deep dark green. I polished back the highlights with a Sunshine cloth and finally sprayed the surface with a matte acrylic spray.
This heart is ready for adding a chain which will rise from behind giving the illusion of  the heart floating on the chain.