Sunday, September 14, 2014

Purple power

Let me gush for a moment, I am honoured that I got to make this ring and ecstatic with the way it turned out! I am normally forgetful about taking pictures of pieces while I am creating them, but I was so giddy at every step of the way that I took quite a few process pictures for all to enjoy. My heartfelt congratulations go out to the newly engaged couple Laura and Josh! You were both such great collaborators, you made my job really easy.
The first design consideration centered around gem choice. When designing a ring it is very dependent on the shape, size, and I would say colour(s!) of the gems so there was a bit of back of forth about colour choices and shape consideration. This is the first grouping of gem choices I offered. On the table were square or oval cuts, I threw the Asscher cut in as an option and I'm glad I did because it became the main contender.

I suggested sapphire because the combination of colour and hardness works really well for a ring. Here you can see the purple Asscher cut Sapphires and a gradation of ruby/sapphires 

With gem choices set I made some sketches to help decide on a design.  I quickly came up with idea #3 and rounded it out with a couple options to choose from keeping in mind my simplicity + combination of antique/modern directives. Along with sketches I like to remind customers that they are a starting point. Adjustments can be made, altogether new sketches can be drawn up, it should be just perfect before creating!
My lovely client immediately chose design 3 and let me know about adjustments that she wanted on the band of the ring, she was able to send me a sketch of the change that she wanted and I let her know that I could easily incorporate it into the design.
Here is a view of the wax I carved, I sent these pics for approval before casting them in gold. This is a great shot of the bottom detail.
The height of the design was a particular concern, so I made sure to send along a photo of the setting height and after getting a reply to move forward it was all systems go!

It broke! Nah. I had made the decision to cast the setting and band separately. This is right after casting and cutting it away from the sprues so it looks a little blah...
Here it is after some sprucing up and I couldn't resist placing the gem in the setting to check on my carving.

After some emerying I soldered the two parts together (in the background you can see my quenching mug :oP).

Here we have the ring finally looking lovely after polishing, including my compound covered fingertips. What lovely nails I have.
Post polish shininess.

The first pic I took after the gems had been set. Oh la la.