Saturday, December 8, 2012

Creating an engagement ring

It's such a busy time of year!

I'm currently very busy working on Christmas gifts for my family, as you'll be able to see once the season is finally over on my knitting blog.

I also need to finish this lovely little number:

The prongs on this need to be lovelied up (which is much easier once they're attached to something I can actually hold on to!), and then the stones need to be set. The recipient has chosen an emerald, oval center stone, with two pear shaped clear stones on the sides. She's a chemist, so she didn't mind using synthetic stones to help cut back on some of the costs.

The ring needs to be fully polished before setting the stones. In preperation for this, I've taken the shank of the ring to a fine emery to help cut back on work. There's no point taking it to a full polish at this point, because finish will be ruined once I solder the settings to the shank. The settings themselves haven't had too much attention, mostly because they're too small to hold onto.

Once the settings are soldered on, I'll be taking the entire ring to a fine emery, and tossing it in my tumber to toughen up the prongs. Sterling silver is like butter right after soldering, so this will help ensure that the prongs won't BUDGE once the stones are set. After the tumbler, I'll take some black rouge to it to make sure it's a ring she's going to be proud of.

Once I'm in the process of setting the stones, I'll post an updated picture. I've never set pear shaped stones before, so I'll admit I'm nervous. I know the theory, I've just never done it in practice. Worst case scenario, if I make a huge mistake I can always take the prongs off and fashion new ones. It's easy once you've had to practice it a few times!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bezel Setting

It's interesting how sometimes the easiest jewellery principles are the hardest to pull off. I'm sad to say that I've been working on this particular project for a lot longer then I'm proud of.

I haven't done a bezel set stone since I was in school, which is a little over two years ago. I remember it being quite easy, and I was quite excited to get this project going.

Apparently bezel set stones are a little more difficult then I remember.

I'm lucky enough to have a hammer handpiece for my flexshaft that my partner bought for me last valentines day. Generally this tool was a complete godsend for doing bezel set stones, and I didn't have one in school. I thought this would be such a simple project!

I really struggled with this bezel. I'm not sure what I've messed up, personally. I used a step bezel wire, which had a wall of approximately 0.4mm. I made sure to anneal the bezel cup. I actually had a proper tool with which to set. I still ended up spending about half an hour setting this stone, when it should have only taken me 10.

All that aside, at least the project is completed. The stone is a beautiful natural citrine, and the entire piece is sterling silver. It's beautiful and shiny, and I'm incredibly happy about it. I'll be putting it up on my Etsy before too long.