Monday, September 8, 2008

Recent Project -- Fire Agate Ring

I had never seen fire agate until a trip out west about a year and a half ago. I became mesmerized by their bright colors and bubbly, blurby patterns. I've picked up a few since then, but have always been a bit intimidated by their uneven surface. Fear of setting them kept me from using them.

This ring was not only my first project with that stone, but with argentium sterling as well. Argentium sterling alloys germanium with the pure silver instead of copper. Because there are no copper oxides, there is no firescale. In addition, the germanium on the surface of the metal resists tarnish.

The mokume gane ring band is an agate pattern in copper and argentium. Argentium square wire is place on the top and bottom of the ring band.

My attempt at faux granulation with the 22k gold balls failed a bit due to repeated firing under the torch. I would attempt to affix all the granules at one time moving forward instead of risking melting as happened a bit here.

As an aside, this web site is worth checking out for it's very 1996 web-tastic graphics and layout.

Recent Project -- Ruby Pendant

It feels like I have been working on this pendant since the beginning of time. I posted about it in April, when i suffered a little set-back and broke the setting while attempting to set the stone.

Five months later I have finally re-crafted the setting, and completed the piece. A four carat lab grown* ruby is set in a sterling dome. The dome is covered in layers of fused sterling and 22k gold shavings and tidbits. Liver of silver gives the dome its color.

A piece of square wire runs across the back of the opening and holds the setting in place.

* Lab created stones are not imitations of real gems, but the actual formation by artificial means of the real precious stone, so that the product is identical, chemically, physically and optically, with the one found in nature.

Again with the Focus, Focus, Focus

Not the most attentive (or consistent) blogger am I? I just saw that it has been three months since my last post. We can blame a condition I refer to as "hobby ADD" -- I tend to wander off into new interests.
But hopefully with a little renewed focus, I can continue to finish up the projects littering my bench.