Making an Amethyst Ring

April 7, 2016
I thought I would post some progress shots as I make another amethyst ring. You can see here my faceted amethyst cabochon, 20g silver sheet, gallery wire and 1.6mm silver wire oval ring. 

I prepare the gallery wire and oval ring by sanding the bottoms flat on 400 grit emery paper. Everything then gets assembled. I find it easier soldering everything at once. Occasionally I need to go back and add some more solder if there are gaps anywhere around the edge of the oval wire ring. You will notice I am using a charcoal block for soldering. I much prefer it for larger settings because it contains the heat more and reflects back more heat. Sometimes I heat a section of the  block first then slide the setting onto it. Things go a lot quicker then!

I like to add some texture to the oval ring at this stage in the process. I then pierce out the setting using my jeweller's saw. The more accurate you are at this stage means less work filing later.

The setting has been filed and now I am ready to solder on the shank. I am using 6x1.2mm silver for the band. I want to make a size 8 so I will need 60.3mm if I were to make a complete ring.  I take off 9mm from this amount. This is the gap I want at the back of the ring. I form the ring using my Pepe ring bending tool but you can also do this on a ring mandrel or using Wubbers mandrel pliers. The ring needs to be perfectly round because this is almost impossible to do once the soldering is done. I then place the ring in my vice with the open ends facing out and file those ends so they are perfectly flat and the shank sits unaided on the back of the ring setting.

I draw a grid on the back of the setting with a sharpie pen. Even though the marks vanish fairly quickly when the metal heats up, there is enough time to make sure the shank is in the right position and adjust it if it moves a little when the flux starts to warm. I place a piece of solder on the back plate where it touches the edge of the ring shank on both sides then point the flame on the other side of the shank to draw the solder through. 

Here it is, just out of the pickle!

I rinse it then clean the ring with a bristle brush and detergent. And now into the liver of sulphur.

I do a pre-polish at this point then set the bezel. 

It is now ready for final polishing.

And here are some glamour shots!!!!!

I know there are lots of gaps in my description of my process. When I was first learning I hated those gaps!!! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions :)


On My Bench Today

July 29, 2015
I have been thinking for a while about making wide ring bands by layering rings with different texture together so today I tried a few ways of preparing the rings for soldering. I had in mind holding the rings together with binding wire and adding the solder chips between the rings on the inside of the ring to solder. I couldn't seem to get that to work though. The rings wouldn't stay securely in place despite tightening the binding wire as much as possible.What I finally did was place tiny h...
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Tips and Tricks - Finding the Centre of a Round Disc

July 3, 2015

Have you ever wondered how to find the centre of a disc? There are a few tools out there to help you but I have found this simple method to be very easy. All you need is a see through template that has a grid printed on it. I had this one left over from my patchworking days. I drilled a hole where the lines intersect then placed the disc underneath the template lining up the sides withing the grid markings.

With a Sharpie pen, draw a mark through the hole that you have drilled.

Voila! You have ...
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Tips & Tricks - Using Two Part Epoxy

June 17, 2015
A little trick given to me from a jeweller in Melbourne. Mix the two part epoxy on a piece of paper with a toothpick then leave it in the glue after use. The glue has dried on your piece of jewellery when the toothpick cannot be removed from the paper. I know!!!!!!! Such a simple, logical idea and saves wiggling the piece and upsetting the connection. Now why didn't I think of that :(

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I Have fallen in love with Prehnite

June 17, 2015
From the moment I received these prehnite stones my mind was full of possibilities - I love the cool colour and the simple shape and could visualize a brushed finish on the silver to contrast with the transluscent stone. I started with simple stud earrings and then added to the collection. I finally completed the ring yesterday:

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On my bench this week!

May 14, 2015
It has been a creative week in the studio. I received some gorgeous labradorite teardrops recently and made this ring a few weeks ago. Earrings and a pendant design started to emerge in my head.

I made some fine silver balls and stamped them with these flower images to use as embellishments for the earrings and pendant. Dental floss is a must when checking the fit of the stones!

It has taken me a long time to be confident about soldering posts onto the back of earrings. I am sorry I didn't take...
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Making a Specialized Bezel Pusher or Foot Tool

July 28, 2014

Setting stones that lie close together, or that are close to embellishments, require a specialized tool that you can easily make in your studio.

This is what we will be making: A bezel pusher or foot tool with handle.

First of all, you need a nail that is approximately 3 to 4 inches in length (8 to 10cm) and 0.175 inch (4.5mm) diameter and a wooden tool handle. I prefer round handles.

Imagine the final length you would like the bezel pusher to be once the nail is in the handle, and mark with a ...
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A New Hoop Design

July 14, 2014
An interesting hoop design I have trialed this week that I found in a project by Gisela Kati Andara on the Art Jewelry Magazine website. It is made from forging copper tubing and has a sterling silver earwire. It took me a little while to work out how to put them on and off but now I have it I love them. Very comfortable!!!

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Adjustable Ring

July 3, 2014
I have been playing with an adjustable ring design lately and also the pave tip on my hammer handpiece. This is a prototype and it just happens to fit me perfectly:)

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July 3, 2014

I have been playing with my new hammer handpiece today to see what textures the attachments make. It is a handpiece that attaches to my Foredom Flexshaft. One thing lead to another and I ended up engraving this vine pattern onto a copper bracelet blank. I am happy with the look of this and am now imagining this on an adjustable ring design I am working on at the moment. More pictures to come :)

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