I am SO excited about the new rings. I am in love with them!!! They are different from anything I have made before. Normally I use heavy wire to create ring bands. These rings I made from thick sterling silver sheet. The first step is to cut out a kind of megaphone looking shape from the silver sheet. In this photo you can see the first ring I had made which was really just an experimentation. Once I created that ring, I realized I needed to make more! So I cut enough silver to create 7 more :)
Once the silver is cut these are kind of like a blank canvas. There are so many variables at this point. What will the texture be? Stones? Size? I could leave them plain silver but that's just not my thing. When I see flat silver I just need to hammer it or roll print it in the mill haha. So texture was step one. Some I roller printed with a dried leaf and some I used vintage brass plates to emboss a texture. After the texture is applied, they need to be filed and refined so there are no sharp spots and also they need to be heated with the torch so they can be ready to shape into rings.
Here's what I had to work with once all that was done!
Just a side note, I started on this at about 7pm. I had already put in quite a few hours on our "new stuff day" which is the day each week we set aside to make new designs and just be creative and make what we want. I had already made a few pieces when I came up with that labradorite ring and decided it would be a long night because I just had to make more of these rings!!!
I don't start with a sketch or an idea in mind. I just kind of work with the metal making it up as I go. I put stones on and take them off, I see how they would look with tiny elements soldered on. Does this one need a silver ball? Does that one work with a turquoise stone? This is the part I love. It's just like playing really I am not trying to make something specific so there's no pressure or frustration. In fact I melted one and just kind of went with it! I melted a few more spots on purpose and soldered on a whole new layer. This was the result:
I don't think I ever would have though that up had I been planning the rings out. It just happened and I LOVE IT.
I have been a sewer almost all of my life and have always loved buttons on stuff. So I decided to make a tiny button out of silver. This is the ring that sparked my idea as I thought the pattern kind of looked like a fabric I have which made me think of sewing and then of buttons lol.
That's me measuring what size circle I need to solder to make the "button" for it. After some experimenting I was able to create this tiny button.
I soldered it onto the ring and was just kind of underwhelmed with the whole design. But when this happens I just keep playing. I kept thinking how could I incorporate more "sewing" elements into the design as I was kind of having fun. I had used a really thin sterling silver wire to make the threads on the button before I soldered it on. I decided to attach a thick wire that I could sew some stones onto. Once I kept going with it and wrapped the whole wire I was so happy with it. And when worn it looks really cool, the stones seem to just come from around the side of your finger.
I created one ring at a time as the hours ticked by. I called it quits about 3am but decided to extend new stuff day into Thursday for a few extra hours after I was done with orders. I just had to get these done and they were so fun to make. I felt like each one was a new adventure and it was so cool to see what they would become. I spent so long on each one deciding how to decorate it. Once the rings were all soldered I oxidized them all by turing the silver jet black.
Next, I hand polish each one to bring back up the silver tone on the high areas to accentuate the texture and detail in them. This step takes quite awhile but it's cool to see the design start to emerge and the finish really come through. I also take a lot of time smoothing the inside of the bands. I bevel the edges and sand them with different grits until they go onto your finger really smoothly and feel so comfortable to wear. The final step is to set all of the stones and then admire them all together :)
I hope you love these as much as I do! I truly enjoyed creating them. If you couldn't tell, I really love my job!! I feel so lucky I get to do this for a living and that I can still find such inspiration that I get lost in it after over a decade of doing this. There is always something new to try and always something to learn. I don't think I could master jewelry making if I had 10 lifetimes but that's what keeps it so intereseting.
Not to ignore the other pieces that are new this week but the rings kind of took over! One piece I am glad to put up in our line is this handmade chain necklace.
I have been working on this design for a few months now. I wanted to have something that was able to be worn a bunch of different ways. We make quite a few long chain necklaces and they are good sellers for us. I wanted to offer one that could be worn long or short. This one has some flat textured links mixed in and I wanted to make sure they would look balanced each way it could be worn. This is how it looks long:
At 36" it's also able to be doubled if you want a shorter chunky chain. This can be done with both strands the same length or one shorter than the other. Definitely going to be making myself one! I really like how it came out.
Friday is picture day, we get all of the new designs and photograph them so we are able to list them on the website.
We were able to take out pics outside this week, we have really been having some unseasonably warm weather here in CT. Paul even captured a sunbeam in this pic!
Here's a link to see all the new pieces that we made this week:
I wasn't sure on the ring sizing, I tried to make all of the sizes from 6-9. They are wide bands so they do fit more snugly. If you didn't see your size let me know. I'm always curious what sizes to make and your feedback helps me to create more of the right sizes next time around :)