Thursday, May 05, 2011

GS: The Polka Dot Process, Part 2

Okay... I shouldn't really be calling these polka dots. Polka dots are 'cutsey'... that is not how I would describe these rings. I know the state that they are in now (in this photo) the red gold is virtually screaming adorable polka dots, but that's not the actual intent. This just goes to show how many stages a custom piece of jewelry goes through.




We were going for something more complex... more layered and textured. Normally, when I'm talking about layering textures, I'm usually speaking of fabrics. But you can layer textures in metal too.

For example, anybody can put a satin finish on a ring, there are many different ways to do it. But there is only one way achieve an incredible satin finish... start with a high polished finish. I know, sounds counter productive to polish something only to make the surface matte again. But the polish shows through, adding a wonderful lightness and luster to the satin finish.

And then there are the little details that I like to add in, like cross hatching. Yes, I like to overlay my satin finish in different directions, which I feel adds not only another layer of depth but allows the light to reflect off different areas at different times.

Now, in the image of the vase, you saw this wonderful geometric pattern spread across the vase. It seemed sporadic in some areas and carefully plotted radiating circles in others, all creating a wonderful final 'layer' for this vase. For our purposes, in jewelry, we needed to find a way to recreate this layer.

We played around with the idea of drilling the holes (but that looked a bit Swiss cheese), half drilling the holes, using a ball bur (which reflected like little diamonds and not the look we were going for in these rings), using a ball bur with a hammer finish on top... and a few other ideas. Nothing seemed to fit, they were all TOO geometric, not organic enough. Then the decision was to go with selective planishing...




And finally, to complete the rings, both rings had to be finished first to a high polish and then brought back to a satin. And this is the final pair of rings...





They are not polka dot anymore. They are complex and subtle all at the same time.

The reason I wanted to share a lot of information about the process of building these rings is because even though they look like simple wedding bands from a far, a great deal of time, thought and effort went into every step designing and fabricating them. I think this point is lost on a great deal of people... they are not just spit out of a machine or picked up at a mall, these were labored over.

And, in my humble opinion, these are not just wedding bands but small pieces of art.

2 comments:

irhanatim12 said...

Yes you are absolutely right.These are really shiny and sparkly gem and i appreciate your this, life's great work. Honestly now i am so crazy to gift these to my wife and also melbourne Wedding Bands and i will done this soon.

Heather said...

Those are really neat! I don't think I've ever seen anything like them before. Gorgeous.

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