Monday, August 31, 2009

Comic Book Cufflinks, part 2

I finally got to sneak away from wedding band land and squeeze in some time to carve the wax for my comic book cufflinks. I played around with the design a bit, and finally came up with a version I really like. And yes, they have personality!

The photos aren't great (had to shoot them REALLY quickly so I wouldn't miss FedEx) but they give you an idea of where I'm going with these!

There is a bezel in the center that will hold an oval blue spinel.

And it's hard to read, but the back side says 'KA POW.' Gotta love it

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Different ways to look at natural elements...

One of my recent blog postings was about the CAD I was creating for a ring. This ring had all different types of symbols/images that come from nature (goat hoof prints, hawk heads, etc.) The design, while natural elements, was to be balanced and clean.

His fiance also chose natural images, leaves from the sassafras tree which has 3 different styles of leaves on one branch. But hers ring was designed to be slightly more organic. The different leaves were layered on top of each other, to help create the illusion of depth.

While both pieces include images from nature... but create a very different result.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Putting the puzzle together...

Some people love doing repairs because they see it as a puzzle... not my favorite. My favorite kind of puzzle is replacing something that a client has lost. It's like CSI for jewelers... going through photos of the client wearing them (my favorite are the 4th grade class pictures), listing to descriptions (sometimes from multiple people)... you know, general investigative work. Maybe it's a favorite pair of earrings from their childhood, or a pendant that grandma gave them, or in this case, the wedding band.

I was approached to replicate a wedding band that a client lost about 8 months ago. I hadn't made the original, and it was a few years old. He wanted a reasonable facsimile of the original, but didn't have a closeup photo of it. We worked from descriptions, random images similar to the style, etc., and I think I have a good idea of what we are aiming for.

The ring has a wave traveling around the ring with 2 high points and 2 low points over a very low domed surface. For fabrication, I carved in the wavy line into a wax, slowly opening up with different sized gravers. Once I opened up the channel, I added in a round wax wire.

It's been sent off to be cast in palladium (the original was in platinum, but wanted an alternative.) More pix to come when it's finished!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's all about the CAD

Sometimes I get requests that are so complicated, geometric and full of insane amounts of details that there is no way I can make it... or even if I can, the pricing would be through the roof. So that is when CAD (computer aided design) comes into play.

I got a request for a ring with many literal visuals that were symbolic to the client. There was so much to squeeze onto a wedding band, that I worked along with another jeweler to create the CAD. We had to do a little back and forth, and this is the final design we came up with...

From the design, the file is sent to a casting company who either mills or grows the wax. The piece just came back from the caster and it looks good... now to clean it! Final images soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3 Stone Setting...

This is a new 3 stone ring design for a client. The center diamond was a stone from the family of the groom-to-be and half of the 14K white gold is from the family of the bride-to-be. The 2 sides are pear shaped blue/grey spinels, provided by me.

We are currently 90% done with the fabrication. I still need to add bezels to each side of the head to hold 1mm square diamonds (see in the sketch above.) Then on to the stone setting. Final pictures will be posted soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Everything, but the kitchen sink

If you wanted an engagement ring that was truly handmade... and made with the skills and the quality of how jewelry used to be made... this is it!

This is a fully hand fabricated platinum ring (no CAD here) with a .91ct VS2 F/G center diamond, and beadset .84ct VS melee diamonds totaling approximately 1.75cts. There is a hand engraved scroll pattern on the sides of the head (under the center stone) AND a hand engraved inscription on the inside of the ring. And finally, the finishing touch, a small pink diamond set inside of the band.

This ring, if I say so myself, is a wonderful example of classic jewelry fabrication techniques. And it's damn pretty to boot!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Free Press...

Gotta love free press!

I got a shout out from Josie at A little writeup about one of my favorite things to do... taking old jewelry and making something new.

Sentimental Jewelry

I should admit up front that I love love love jewelry, and that I'm about
as sentimental as they come. That's why I'm so impressed by Tracey Jenkins
and Green Spot Studio.

Tracey specialized in custom wedding jewelry - and one of the coolest things
(in my opinion) that she does - is take old jewelry and reinvent it.

So, say you had an old broach from your grandmother, or a collection of a few
pieces of family jewelry, that you wanted to modernize and wear for your
wedding, Tracey could redesign and recreate it for you.

If you would like to read the whole posting, take a peek here.

Now, as a side note, PreOwnedWeddingDresses is a great business. If you spend thousands on a wedding dress, why not sell it and get a little back... or buy one that has already been worn and be a little green. Either way, it's eco conscious and a it thrifty! So, I love it for both reasons!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Le Tour

I know I haven't been around at all lately, but that was due to a wonderful 2 week excursion. But one of the main parts of this trip was Le Tour de France! On July 25th we headed up Mont Ventoux for the second to last stage of the tour, before Paris. This was amazing!

While we didn't make it to the summit (about 15km away) we still had some great views. Here are a few photos...

It was exhausting just watching them ;)
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