Thursday, July 29, 2010

GS: Raven Cufflinks

Groomsman gifts are tough. Do you get them pens? Flasks with their names engraved on them? iPods? Well, my favorite are custom cufflinks. Something that is special to either the groom or the groomsmen.

This raven design is the logo on a sail boat owned by the Best Man...

Now, the pattern automatically lends itself to a cutout (with some slight modification.) But simply a cutout would create a weak structure, so I backed it with another sheet of silver. At this point, it started to develop the look of an antique coin... somewhat militant looking. So I decided to run with this and I not only oxidized the cutout, but the entire piece and then selectively removed the oxidization to give it an antiqued finish.

And this is the final product...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GS: New Life to an Old Ring, part 2

After finishing this men's ring, I couldn't help myself, I had to make a part 2 of the 'New Life to an Old Ring.' Who knows, maybe this can become a series!

We started off with a 14K yellow gold men's estate ring. It tapers from the top to the bottom and had a concave top surface with Florentine engraving. Now, we lucked out because it was a perfect fit.

The client had designed very specific symbol that he wanted engraved to the ring. So, first I removed the engraved surface and took a bit of the height off the concave section...

Second, I added a center line around the while ring with a saw blade (which is part of the design.)

And finally, the new engraving was added to the top surface...

This ring is the mate to the woman's band in part 1. Here they are together...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GS: New Life to an Old Ring

Just like any industry, the jewelry/wedding industry has been suffering with the economy and people are looking for ways to save money. Much of the time people come to me asking for me to melt down old pieces of jewelry to make something new, which I am thrilled to do. But what many people don't know is that it is not cheap. A great deal of labor goes into melting precious metals and then making new stock for fabricatin. Depending on the complexity, this process can sometimes cost MORE than purchasing new (recycled) metal!

But this is the perfect example of how to work with old jewelry and on a budget. A client came to me with a pile of antique rings and wanted to see what we could do to 'rework' the pieces and create something new. One of the bands was an old patterned men's 14K Yellow gold wedding band, size 10.

She liked the pattern (which is quite lovely) but wanted to add a bit more to the ring. So, first I sized it to a 4.5 and matched the pattern back up. Next I drilled the center of every other flower and soldered in 14K white gold tubing.

From there, I set diamonds (which again, came from a piece that the client supplied) in the bezels. Here's the final product...

The final product is beautiful and budget friendly.
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