A passion for silversmithing

STERLING SILVER : Noun, meaning silver of 92 and a quarter percent purity.....

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Friendship rings

Just made these lovely friendship rings for best friend Stephanie and I.

 I only see her about once a year as she lives in Melbourne, but she was here for Christmas, and on our second shopping spree (compulsory when she visits) in a queue in Marks and Spencer I whipped out my ring sizer and measured her finger.

Stephanie usually wears gold, and nothing too flashy, so I designed a silver and gold ring just for her - and loved it so much I made me one as well!

I used 2mm square wire. Put it through the rolling mill (from Cooksongold probably my most expensive tool but use it SUCH a lot that it was worth it). I flattened it to about 3mm x 1mm, bent it into a shank, then soldered it with hard solder. I had to sand the edges to make it smooth to wear, and tidied the joint. Then using my sharpie, I hand drew a design based on an 'S', and etched it for an hour in a nitric acid solution

I recycled some gold chain, melting it with my blow torch into small beads of gold. (Short youtube clip of me doing this with some scrap silver).

I made some small bezel cups using 3mm x 0.3mm bezel strip, to fit the gold balls, and then soldered these to the etched shank using extra easy solder. I did tumble the shanks for a while before this to give them strength. You can't do this once the bezel cup  is attached because you need that to stay soft so you can push the edges over the centre. I always polish the piece with tripoli and then rouge before I set the stone/ball/cabochon into the bezel setting.


My favourite bit is plopping in the ball of gold (or stone/cabochon whatever) and then using my little pusher tool (centre of photo with wooden handle) to push the bezel cup over the stone, always pushing alternately from opposite sides, working round the centre.

My ring has a pattern based on an 'A' for Ally. 

This design is not yet available in my shop Tripoli and Rouge but it will be as soon.

1 comment:

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