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Tag Archives: Ring a Week

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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This is my 15th ring of the year for the ring a week challenge on Flickr.  I am quite behind at the moment but after this weekend I get a bit of a chance to catch up.  This ring was inspired by the events that surround the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan.  The ring has had lots of time to rest at every stage of creation.  It finally came together yesterday when I had a chance to rivet the pieces together.  I love it dearly.  It contains a bead that was hand lampworked by Ellen Dooley.  The rest of the ring is fine silver.  It is quite comfortable to wear and fits a size 7 nicely.  In this shot perhaps you cannot see the deeply fluted exterior of the bowl the bead nestles into.  It was inspired by the birdbaths and fountains I see in my walks and trips around town here.  The interior of the bowl is textured with my own fingerprints as I loved the look, it reminds me of ripples on water.  The bead cap has a dot pattern that I have used quite a bit and I chose it as it reminds me of foam on waves.  The shank is the earth.

Fine silver and pearl Lily Ring

I have so enjoyed the two lily pad rings I made that I am continuing to explore making more flower and pearl rings.  This ring began as a piece to attach to the heart of the previous ring.  The flower looked too big to suit.  After playing around with a number of ideas I settled on a more simple idea, that of the calix of the flower being the attachment point for the ring shank.  I had previously made the little disk at the base of the flower for another purpose and it happened to be sitting on my bench when I began piecing together this ring.  it looked perfect for the job of supporting the flower.  The construction of the ring is from a series of items.  There is heavy gauge fine silver wire for the shank which is embedded into a slightly cone shaped piece of silver clay.  After the embed clay dries, the fluted disk is attached to the top of the embed pad.  The attachment is reinforced and perfected.  Then the flower, which was already dried on a form, has a hole drilled in the base.  A short length of 20 gauge fine silver wire is bent over at one end.  This wire is sandwiched between the flower and the disk and then travels up through the drilled hole.  A bit of syringe clay is used to anchor the whole affair together.  The joins are reinforced and perfected (in these sorts of tight spaces this is a very dainty task).  After the assembled ring is fired and the finish work is done a pearl is attached to the 20 gauge wire.  The patina on the petals and underside of the flower echos tones in the pearl.

I am preparing for an art fair in Elmhurst Illinois this weekend, the Art in the Park fair at Wilder Park, and am busy as can be finishing up a whole bevy of pieces.  I have another ring to post here on this blog shortly.  This next ring is not a part of the flower and pearl series.  It is a ring that I made ages ago and was not quite satisfied.  I will tell more about that when I post it in a little while.

Heart Lily Pad Ring

I dearly loved the Lily Pad Ring that I made previously and have decided to embark on a short series of flower and pearl rings as a result.  This ring is the second in that series.  The third ring will be going into the kiln later today.  This ring and the next ring are the result of a design that did not quite work.  The flower I originally made was a bit too large when placed on the heart element.  The blossom dominated and obscured the heart too much.  That blossom is now placed on a very small disk with a cup shape supporting it and acting as an embed point for the fine silver wire shank.

Thomasin Durgin has made a terrific blog post compiling the kinetic rings that were submitted to the Ring a Week Flickr group. My Moon Lander Ring is situated just before her own ring. It is a very interesting group of rings and Thomasin’s post is a nice read. Many of the entries included video of their rings moving. Take a look.

I am quite late posting last week’s ring. This would be because it is still sitting on my bench. I did some changing horses in mid stream so it is not together. On the bright side the swapped out bits will make nice additions to future rings.

This ring is my twelfth ring for the flickr ring a week challenge.  The group had proposed a challenge to create a ring that is “kinetic” by March 27th and this is my kinetic ring.  The bead and the star shaped piece below it both spin.  This ring is entitled Moon Lander Ring and has a crater texture with hand inscribed scratches.  The “moon lander” consists of the three elements, the star with radiating grooves, the bead with tiny silver dots following a line and the radial line circle at the top,  all riveted onto the moon crater layer.  This ring has wild colored patina and I used a very light hand removing the color from the high spots because it was so beautiful.  The bead is once again by Ellen Dooley.

 

This ring is totally about the coming of spring time.  I love spring and it shows in my art.  This ring is from a new texture I got from an etsy shop called Rolling Mill Resources, the texture is heavy paper which is laser etched.  The flower base for the bead is slightly domed and the bead is capped with a tiny circle with matching texture.  The patina is mostly a reddish color which tends towards both brown and fuchsia in places with halos of light blues and aquas near raised areas.  The hand lampworked bead is by Ellen Dooley.

Those of you who have visited my booth at shows know that I often make dogwood flower items.  There is a personal connection with my mother.  It was her favorite flower.  There is a personal connection with my childhood.  We used to live in New Jersey when I was quite young and there were several dogwoods in our back yard.  They were lovely when they bloomed.  When I was in college, the campus had two ancient dogwoods.  One of the trees was a pink, the other a white and they were growing up together entwined.  My Mother-in-law takes these photos of flowers, she arranges them facing the bed of her scanner, so they are upside down to her, and then she scans them.  One of her best photos, in my opinion, is of a group of dogwood flowers.  Maybe I like that one best because of all those other connections with dogwoods but it is one of her best sellers at art fairs.

 

Metal clay lends itself so well to hand sculpted pieces like this.  Each petal is cut from damp clay, slightly reshaped and hand attached to the base. The flower is completed by adding an element to simulate the center.  You can just make out my fingerprints as waves in some places.  It turned out to be a challenge for me as a sort of amateur jewelry photographer to get a nice shot of this due to the brushed finish which scatters light all over.  I am happy with this shot although I do believe this is a case in which the real article is more beautiful than the photograph.

 

This ring is my tenth for the flickr ring a week challenge.  You can find the whole group here, and my photostream here.

Ring number 9 for the Flickr group challenge “Ring a Week” is entitled Floating Blossom ring.  The ring is all fine silver and has a lovely multicolor patina on the face.  I find myself slipping behind a bit on the rings right now due to a maelstrom of personal life issues.  Everything is fine right now though so I will work on catching up next.  The first art fair of my season is this Saturday, the Spring Bloom fair at the Bloomington Sale Barn.  It will be really nice to be inside what with the chilly temperatures of this week.  I have so many things sitting on my bench that should go into the kiln tomorrow or maybe tonight if things go well.  It is very exciting to get back in the swing of doing art fairs again.

 

I need to spend some time updating my upcoming shows page because I have gotten some further confirmations for more shows.  In brief, I was accepted for the Elmhurst Fine Art Fair show (this is a Chicago area show) and also the Elmwood Strawberry Festival show (this is a small town about a half hour from Peoria, they were decimated by a tornado last year and are very excited to show off how well the rebuilding effort has gone).  But first things first, I need to get back into my studio and put finishing touches on a kiln full of items!

This ring is a box construction with a small bezel set nephrite jade placed on a square element.  The photo above is great except that there is a reflection of something in the stone.  So I am including a second photo to show a bit more of the patina, the side of the ring and it’s texture and that the stone doesn’t actually have some murky white inclusion after all.  This ring is remarkably comfortable to wear.

 

If I had to do it again I did learn some things about the way the different elements behaved while shrinking in the kiln and I might have attached the element for the bezel differently.  The ring would have had less twisting to correct if I had mounted the element onto the central ring rather than on top of the side walls.  But in fact, correcting the twisting was just a way to focus my energies during finishing.  It did not lengthen the finishing process at all.

 

We might be getting 6 to 10 inches of snow tonight.  I hope the weather dudes got this one wrong because it will spoil some plans of ours.  I do not want to labor my readers with this next bit but silver is sky high at the moment.  It is 33 dollars a troy ounce.  This may result in a price increase for all my products if it does not immediately plummet back into the mid twenties.  If you had any doubts, this new high price really does make silver the new gold.