Thursday, June 23, 2011

Workshop Wednesday

Following on from last week's Workshop Wednesday where I sawpierced, textured and soldered a lovely ring band with elements taken from my Hungarian Folk Art and Ruffled Series of rings.

I think I'll call this one an 'Embrace Ring',
so lovely it is to wear as it wraps around and embraces the wearer.

I soldered a high walled bezel for the mookaite stone, this allows for the curve of the ring band which I file into the bottom of the bezel using a half round bench file. The bezel is resting on the bench file, you can see the curve in the bezel taking shape.

The ring band is quite large, so the curve left on the bezel from the bench file does not match up with the ring band. To overcome this problem, and to make sure the bezel touches the ring band perfectly for the solder join, I taped some rough emery paper to my ring mandrel and moved the bezel from side to side until the curve in the bezel was perfectly matched to the curve of the ring band.
As you can see, my ring mandrel has Australian sizing, which uses letters instead of numbers.

The bezel is ready for soldering onto the ring band. The base of the bezel is touching the ring band perfectly, making for a good solder join.

I use steel binding wire to hold it in place.

I like to twist little kinks in the binding wire using pliers. Binding wire tends to move with heat, so this helps to keep it locked in place nice and tight during soldering.


Yellow Ochre gouache paint is applied to any previous solder joins. It stops solder from running during soldering. Here, I've applied it to the solder join on the ring band.

I've soldered the bezel onto the ring band, soldering from the inside of the bezel so the outside remains free from solder smears. Little silver buds have been carefully filed away so they sit flat and are ready for soldering onto the scalloped edges of the ring band for decoration.

I'm using the yellow ochre gouache paint again on the inside of the bezel so the solder doesn't run whilst soldering the little silver buds. It's best to keep the yellow ochre away from any areas where you do wish to solder, as the flux will be contaminated and the solder won't join the metal in the place where you need it most. The yellow ochre on the inside of the bezel should be enough to keep the bezel in place during soldering.

I hope you've enjoyed the progress!
I'll be back before the week is done to show you more.

What have you been working on feverishly this week?

--- Mariann ---

Monday, June 20, 2011


Making pretty things in stones and silver takes its toll on my hands.

I get so excited at seeing my nail polish collection.
I pick a color based on how I'm feeling,
or how I want to feel - as a reminder.

Green for Adventurous
Pink for Pretty
Orange for Hyperactive
Yellow for Inspired
Blue for Thoughtful

I carefully paint them on my nails,
reading a book as I wait for them to dry.

I enjoy a full day with pretty nails before I sit at my workbench and sand, file and buff away all the color.

Funny how my jewelry turns pretty as my nail polish wears away.
Ah! The sacrifices of a jeweler!

It's all very much worth it, though.
And I think you'd agree!

(Remove with nail polish remover, and repeat...)

--- Mariann ---


Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have some great news to share with you!

If you read my blog post on the Hidden Gem that I was incredibly lucky to have found, you will know that I was still waiting on official membership...

* drum roll please *

I'm officially a member!

It feels so good to have a sense of belonging in the lapidary and silversmithing community.
I get so excited just thinking about it!

Thank you to the committee and members at Frankston and Peninsula Lapidary Club,
I look forward to learning and sharing what I know with all the members,
and spending the days cabbing, faceting, soldering and fossicking!

--- Mariann ---

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Workshop Wednesday

Here's a peek at what I've been working on...

 I draw the design onto card to check how it will fit when made in silver and stone.

Saw-pierced from sterling silver sheet.

 Shaped and soldered, the cut-outs are 'ruffled' with texture.

My flower stamp is on the inside of the ring.
A little bit of planning is needed with this design.
I need to know what should be done before shaping and soldering and what can be done afterwards.
There's still the bezel for the stone to be completed and soldered,
along with six little silver buds
to help decorate the ring.

I hope to have it finished this week,
more photos to follow!

--- Mariann ---

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rose Quartz Ruffled Ring

as promised...

Available in my Etsy Shop
along with the other pretty Ruffled Rings.

--- Mariann ---