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I just completed two new rings.  The one pictured above is entitled Double Blossom and is part hand sculpted and part cut out and domed.  The ring is entirely fine silver with a wire shank and all of the floral component made from metal clay.  The original design was to use the domed element to nestle a pearl.  As I was assembling the ring it did not look the way I wanted sitting on top of the little pad the wire shank was embedded in, the flower was too small on top of the pad.  Perhaps I mean that the pad had too much visual weight.  I also felt that embedding wire for the pearl to mount on was going to make the cupped flower sit high in an unattractive way and perhaps add further visual weight to the pad underneath.  So, on the fly I sculpted the little pointed petals and eliminated the pearl from the design, giving the flower a simple and much smaller ball center.  I love this ring a lot and would not be considering selling it except the shank is about a whole size too large for my index finger.

The ring below was begun in march.  The shank was fired flat and shaped and then I got busy with other things and set it aside.  I had at that time no firm design for the top of the ring and a long list of things I did know exactly how I wanted to make.  So, in preparing for this Park Forest Art Fair I determined that making some rings would be warranted.  I looked at my small pile of started projects and saw this shank.  It had started to take on some patina from sitting in my studio unprotected and unloved while I made batch after batch of liver of sulfur solution.  The shank looked lovely to be truthful!  So as I prepared for this upcoming fair I let the idea of this shank and its unknown top element roll around in my head for a few days.  I had just ordered some small nephrite jade stones and felt one would not be out of place in a chinese inspired work and that really got the the ideas flowing.  I found a photo of some chinese dogwood blossoms and felt strongly attracted to them.  As many of you know, I make a number of pieces with american dogwood blossoms as focal elements, in part because they were my Mother’s favorite flower.  This blossom is very abstracted as it is all of one piece and has chinese calligraphy over its surface.  The piece turned out well in my opinion.  I got to use a little tip I saw Lora Hart mention recently when setting the stone.  After I had used my bezel pusher I felt the very top edge of the bezel still had a tiny gap around the stone.  She had mentioned using a chop stick to push very hard on the wire.  This technique decreases the chance of harming a stone while finishing up the setting.  It worked like a charm.  Thank you Lora!

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