Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back from Europe!

Hey all! Sorry I haven't been posting at all in the past 2 weeks, but I have been on a whirlwind vacation through Europe. Sal and I traveled to Zurich, Milano, Nice, Mont Ventoux, and Cluny (with a few more stops along the way!)

There are lots of photographs coming your way! Just be patient ;)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Final Coat of Arms

I loved this project because it was so out of the norm with what I have been doing lately... meaning that it was non-wedding related ;) But I also truly enjoyed making something that will tie together family members who live on multiple continents and in various countries.

The final pendants are oxidized sterling silver on a satin cord.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A gift... for ME?!?!

Last night I handed off wedding bands to Evan and Ann... an illustrator and a sculptor. I am always honored to make art for other artists! Well, when I gave them their 'art' they gave me art in return! I was in complete shock, because I do not expect anything in return... other than paying the bill ;)

So, seeing us poor artists have to stick together... I gotta pimp them out!

These are AMAZING pewter Goat and Ram soft cheese knives...

And I love the fact that they are perfectly fitted, so they can battle...

Honestly, I'm jealous that I didn't think of this before her ;)

And they also gave me 2 kick ass pewter wine stoppers... that are modeled after their cats...

The ingenious part of these is the fact that the cork is a generic size... and when they wear out, you unscrew the cork and can replace it. The inside of the 'cork bezel' has threading. Brilliant!

So even though they are hand making pretty much everything for their wedding, it's still proving to be expensive. So check out Evan's Etsy Store and Anne's Etsy Store. 100% of their proceeds go to their wedding ;)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sorry Ladies, Sorry Fellas... they're taken!

Here is a cool pair of wedding bands for a very cool couple.

They started with an engagement ring of 18K yellow gold, round wire high polished shank, a bezel set peridot which they purchased from a gallery they both work at. Then comes the hard part... what to do about the wedding bands. The only idea they had when we began the process was what they wanted engraved... Sorry Ladies in his and Sorry Fellas in hers.

After some thought, they realized that the groom to be wanted to exact opposite of the engagement ring... white gold and a flat band... and she wanted something that would match both her engagement ring and his wedding band.

We decided on 2 tone wedding bands, flat stock with a matte finish (which brings out the stripe-i-ness.) Her band is yellow/white/yellow while his is white/yellow/white. Both are made from 18K.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Coat of Arms... con't

If you remember the post about the Coat of Arms, I was attempting to come up with a 'Roman Coin' style pendant of a Norwegian family crest.

Just a few small changes from the original sketch, nothing major. Here is the wax...

We decided to keep these somewhat aged and gritty looking, so there will simply be a drilled hole with a jump ring at the top and hung on black rubber cord. Pictures of the final piece next week!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oh, what to engrave...

Sometimes deciding what words to engrave on a ring is more difficult than deciding what the ring itself will look like!

When I'm making wedding bands for clients and they can't decide what to engrave, I like to play a little game with them. I give each of them an assignment... one person comes up with what to engrave in their soon-to-be betrothed ring, and vise versa. Some love that idea, others do not like giving up that power. Either way, it can be a few words of love, a date, or a wonderful place to hide a secret message that nobody else will ever see. Either way, it should how the personality.

One of my favorites so far is the following:

Men's band 'Sorry Ladies'
Women's band 'Sorry Fellas'

But I recently had a client that wanted her engraving on the exterior of her ring. No pattern, just the words. As she thought about what to engrave, she initially came up with the phrase 'by God's good grace,' but because she isn't overtly religious, she wanted to keep thinking. Weeks passed, and she decided that it was the only phrase that worked.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

comic book cufflinks

Maybe it's just me that thinks this is a fun idea. But I think a pair of cufflinks that can be worn to work and can touch upon your inner child is pretty flipping cool.

A client came to me with the idea of cufflinks for her beau. They are self-proclaimed dorks (which is think is damn cool) and one of the few things he is really into is comic books. Currently, I'm not sure if by comic books they mean graphic novels or anime... but for the moment, I'm aiming for the classic comic book. Think POW! standing out in a yellow spiked bubble.

The part with the stone would be the front side. I need to tweak the spiked bubble behind the stone... it's currently looking a little too flower like. BUT it gives you the idea where I'm going with this.

I'm not sure what the client will think about my madness with this idea... but I will keep you posted!


I got an email from the client and she loves them! Yay! The only thing is she needs to research which word to put on the back... KA-POW! may be too Batman and not enough Captain America ;) But either way... we're on our way to a damn cool pair of cufflinks!

Friday, July 03, 2009

White on White Inlay

I just finished a set of complimentary engagement rings that have white on white inlay. They are both made out of palladium with 14K white gold inlay. Why, you may ask, white on white inlay? Well, all white metals are different shades of white... ranging from warm white/yellow tones to greys.

So, palladium is a true white metal (in the platinum family) with a slight grey color... and almost a hint of purple. White gold, on the other hand, is inherently yellow, so it creates a warm yellow tone. This is because gold is yellow. When it comes out of the ground it is yellow and then you add other metals to change the color.

For example, white gold has nickel (or palladium) added to it to make it white, red gold has a higher content of copper and green gold has a higher content of silver added to it. There are other alloys added to each, but usually the metals and the amounts are a secret to each shop or refinery.

Now, each of these rings has white on white inlay. Unfortunately, the domed surface of the bypass ring makes it very difficult to see. But, under the right lighting... and possibly, the right circumstances... it is visible. And I somewhat like that, because it's almost like a little secret that nobody else needs to know is there.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ugh.. repairs!

Some jewelers LOVE repairs, they see them as little puzzles to solve. I am not one of those jewelers. I can do repairs, but I don't enjoy it. I only take repairs from close friends and clients... and I always manage to get the nightmare jobs.

Here is one of them..

It is an estate piece from one of the Baltic States (either Latvia or Lithuania.) When it came to me, part of the band was missing and it had a chipped mine cut topaz. The client had an old rose cut diamond that she decided would fit in the setting perfectly. Did I mention that this belongs to my dry cleaner? So my dry cleaner insisted that the stone would fit perfectly... how could I say no?

Well, after breaking out the topaz (my favorite part... oh, how I do love smashing stuff) I went to replace the missing metal in the shank. The second I hit it with a flame it (1) turned completely black and (2) random solder started flowing. WEE! The gold is maybe 8 ct and it was full of soft solder (lead.) So, after spending time repairing the repair, I took a better look at the rose cut diamond.

The edges were fairly chipped and rough, and was slightly too large for the setting (I really couldn't open up the bezel) so I had to send it to the diamond cutter. They ground the girdle down just the slightest bit, keeping the shape. Then the stone could be set.

So, what was supposed to be a 'quick' repair took 2 weeks. WEE!

Meh, it's back together and Donna (my dry cleaner) will be very happy. And I can get my cleaning (Sal's shirts and suits) cleaned for a few weeks for free.
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