Sunday Rings

It’s Sunday, possibly it is raining or perhaps it is just dreary and cold enough that the thought of going out just does not appeal.
On days like these I often sit down and make myself a ring, something simple but pretty that can be done in a day and which, in the working week to come, I can look at and know my weekend was not wasted.
That is why I call these my Sunday rings.


Each one uses a stone I was particularly drawn to because of its character, colour or flaws. There are messy star sapphires and a particularly pretty dusty blue sapphire bought from India in an auction with no rivals as the seller had used the wrong picture as their primary image.
My favourite though is this playful and slightly ridiculous turquoise ring. It is a really unusual, almost onion domed cabochon and, as it was reclaimed from jewellery by a lovely dealer I know, I have really no idea how old it is. All I know is that if I could get more, I could sell this ring 10 times over.


Unfortunately Turquoise, being opaque, is nearly always cut into flatter cabochons as to do otherwise is a waste of an expensive material.
So the only way I am going to be able to replicate this ring is to cut my own stones. ..which brings us onto the problem of sourcing genuine turquoise on line in a market saturated with fakes and imitations.
But that’s for another time.
Just to conclude, because the stone is so chunky with a hint of Arabian Nights style Orientalism, I wanted to give it a mount that echoed that.
I simply took d shaped wire for the ring and added a ring of round wire to provide more adhesion points for the domed disk in which the stone sits. I then used a file to make the claws and finally folded them carefully round the stone.
I then wore it very carefully for a day, praying the stone was indeed secured by its little claws.

Getting my claws round a quartz

Everything looks better with Lego

A lovely, messy sapphire set with a smoky quartz and a topaz.

This week I returned to silversmithing, finally completing a project that had given me difficulty. I do like chunky jewellery but using 1mm silver was a mistake which meant I had to waste time and silver, filing bits away so the claws and bezel would conform to the stones. The large stone is a sapphire so it makes for a heavy piece. I’m not entirely satisfied with the design but I feel better about having finished it!

Copper load of that!

With my supply of silver running out fast and metal prices remaining high, I have been working increasingly with copper.

While not much use for jewellery, it’s an utterly wonderful metal to work and its relative cheapness means I can cut it up, blast it with the torch and generally abuse it with gay abandon and pretty nice results.

In recent months I have made copper books (that’s what I call a hardback!), personalised memory sticks (a slightly corny steampunk thang, but a fun project using 15mm plumbing pipe), dragon’s skin bangles (with thanks to Popnicute (video here) and some fold formed orchids I hope to sell as steampunk buttonholes for weddings.

I hope you enjoy the photographs!

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The background for this one is my chunk of train rail bought from the lovely chaps at Elsecar, Sheffield. Railway line, being work hardened, makes a really good anvil and the volunteers at Elsecar said they are used to people asking for a small length in return for a donation.