Archive for November, 2010

multi-stone cuff bracelet

Monday, November 29th, 2010

lapis, turquoise, diamond, ss cuff bracelet

These stones started as a few rather, ahem, “dated” rings and pendants. The lapis was an individual stone that had been in the family for a long time. I picked all the stones out, recycled the metal, and we tossed around ideas for a bracelet, then a pendant, then a ring, then finally just decided “use up all those random stones and make one big SOMETHING!” So, here’s my something: a cuff bracelet with etched and engraved floral motif set with lapis (from Afghanistan), Persian turquoise, and a smattering of diamonds ranging in size from 3.5mm diameter to 1.6mm.

lapis, turquoise, diamond, ss cuff bracelet

lapis, turquoise, diamond, ss cuff bracelet

As usual, I stressed unduly over my design since it had been about a zillion years since I had etched anything (did I still even have the stuff?) and also my engraving skills revolve around guesswork since I’ve never been formally trained in any of this. I relied on the etching of course for the main design and then neatened it up where I needed to with the engraver. I should do more engraving—it’s kind of fun!

sketch for bracelet

Here’s my sketched design. Originally, I had planned to make the bracelet straight-sided but during the process of soldering on the largest bezel (each bezel had to be carved on the bottom to fit the contour of the bracelet exactly so they could be soldered down), I got a little close to the edge with the pointy end of my torch and melted it all up. I totally freaked out, paced about a bit, took some deep breaths and surveyed my screw-up. I hammered it back as smooth as I could but couldn’t really get the metal to smoosh back out to form a nice clean edge like before. But then it occurred to me that I kind of liked the way the edge swooped in; I added more swoops and I think it improved the overall look and design. I re-engraved the part of the design I had obliterated with my torch and hammering and in the end, it is all but invisible unless you know where to look. I felt very lucky and the rest of the bezels, including all diamond bezels, went on with no trouble at all.

lapis, turquoise, diamond, ss cuff bracelet

lapis, turquoise, diamond, ss cuff bracelet

I put a deep french-gray patina in the design grooves and around the edges of bezels to give it more depth and polished the rest of the bracelet to a bright satin finish.

faceted cigar band

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Oxidized straight faceted cigar band - sterling silver

[Faceted Cigar Band, sterling silver, carved/cast, and oxidized a nice French gray.]

Faceted cigar band, tapered design - sterling silver

[Tapered Faceted Cigar Band, sterling silver.]

Hi there all! Sorry it’s been a while since my last post.. I’ve been busy.. And lazy. And we got the fourth season DVD of Mad Men. Yep, that pretty much sums it all up right there.

But of course I’ve still been working and making some new things.. I’m going to list these rings on the Etsy shop here soon.. I will offer a straight version and a tapered version, and each will be hand-carved from scratch, custom to fit each order. Here is a photo of the rings I have been wearing together lately…

18K and black rose-cut diamond solitaire and faceted silver cigar band

Yes, I only own one shirt. The gold ring is of course is the black rose-cut diamond in 18K (Victorian Solitaire) and the silver is a sterling silver carved faceted cigar band. It’s domed and tapered and surprisingly comfortable. I think the two look really great together.

18K Victorian Solitaire with rose-cut diamond and silver faceted cigar band

I know. Isn’t that festive? It’s not even December yet and we have a tree already. Until last year actually, we had never gotten a tree, or decorated in any way for Christmas (or any other holiday for that matter), but you know? My two-year-old LOVES the tree. She spends just about all her time underneath it (we even have it bolted down to a big heavy box so she has lots of space to hang out under it) re-arranging all the lower ornaments, wedging her stuffed animals in the branches. She’s been busy. Originally we had no ornaments to speak of so I went crazy and made a bunch out of fabric and felt; so far this year, I’ve made three new ones.

Here’s the typical scene:

She is in the process of shoving all the bird ornaments deep into the heart of the tree where they will be lost forever if I don’t remember to retrieve and count them all nightly before I go to bed. You can see various debris all over the floor: less tenacious ornaments and a host of stuffed friends waiting their turn.

(She has no idea that the plastic comes off those candy canes.)

new turquoise cocktail rings!

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

turquoise, diamond, sterling silver and 18K cocktail ring

Chinese turquoise, diamond, sterling silver, and 18K gold. The silver has been patinaed a deep gray and then brushed bright silver on the outsides of the ring. The band is rounded on the inside and has an adorable little ginkgo leaf stamp that I had made a million years ago but haven’t used too much. I need to use it more because it is pretty cool.

turquoise, diamond, sterling silver and 18K cocktail ring

turquoise, diamond, sterling silver and 18K cocktail ring

Japanese lilypond cocktail ring (turquoise and sterling silver)

Finally, I’ve finished the ring using this awesome turquoise. I think it looks like a Japanese lily pond, maybe photographed using an infrared filter. Anyway, I just love this piece and hope I’ve done it justice with the ring mounting.

Japanese lilypond cocktail ring (turquoise and sterling silver)

The bottom is pierced with a floral pattern so you catch a glimpse of the lilypads on the bottom of the stone and the whole thing floats off the three-cornered band by a couple of millimeters.

Japanese lilypond cocktail ring (turquoise and sterling silver)

Japanese lilypond cocktail ring (turquoise and sterling silver)

A thought regarding the ring shot being worn. So far, I have been just taking a photo of my hand against the same linen backdrop I use for the rest of the shots. I was taking outdoor photos of necklaces the other day and took a few worn ring shots while I was at it and am liking the results. Any thoughts? Do you think the ring being worn taken against the body vs. against a backdrop is better?

Here’s what I mean:

turquoise, diamond, sterling silver and 18K cocktail ring
turquoise and diamond cocktail ring

Or the rose ring I finished recently..

rose cocktail ring; sterling silver, 18K, and diamond

rose cocktail ring; sterling silver, 18K, and diamond

custom order deadline!!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Hi all – Just a quick reminder if you are interested in having a custom piece made: Please get your order in by the end of this week (November 5th) if you want me to be able to ship before Christmas. I’ll be going on vacation starting mid-December (back the end of January). Thank you!!

Also, I will have some more ready-to-wear pieces up here on the Etsy site soon… Necklaces, more cocktail rings, etc.