Before and After

A client came to me with a pair of larimar earrings she had in her personal jewelry stash. She hadn’t worn them in a while because she didn’t like the fact that they were so plain and she wasn’t fond of french hook earring wires either.

I was told to re-vamp the design and give them a makeover. I took them apart because honestly, whoever made these, didn’t do a great job. I made completely new bezels adorned with twisted wire, embellished them with some antiquing and gave them ball posts. They turned out so cute I think I will make more of these to add to my inventory.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Love always,

Adribefore after larimar

before and after larimar earrings

before and after larimar earrings

 

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New Bohometric Collection

bohometric

 

Presenting the new Bohometric Collection designed and created by me for Always With Love, Inc.  It combines the bohemian spirit with geometric shapes and adds color for an earthy essence. Boho chic at its best.

Available only at alwayswithlove.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Adriana

VIDEO: Labradorite Cabochon Ring

Welcome back! This is a video I shot with my iPhone as I created a custom ring for a client.  It shows me working the metal and creating the piece from scratch.  I thought it would be nice to show you guys the fabrication process in action and the final product.

Feel free to like, share, comment or repost!

Press Play.

Making a Silver Replica from a Bone Pendant

Custom requests are when I have the most fun. In this particular case, it was extra fun because I was making my husband’s anniversary gift!

He already owned a Hei Matau pendant made out of bone and wanted it in silver. Since  bone is very fragile, I couldn’t make a mold “the regular way”. Normally I would use silicone rubber and make a mold using a vulcanizer. However, in this case, the vulcanizer’s heat would have pulverized the bone and ruined the mold. For this reason I had to use a special two-part resin mold that cures at room temperature.

Here is how I did it:

1. I applied Super Glue to the bottom of the bone pendant (hei matau) and attached it on a brass sprue.

bone hook on frame

2. Took two aluminum plates and covered the frame. Placed two small clasps on each side to hold the frames tightly.

frames

3. Mixed the resin and the catalyst according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After mixing I placed the compound in the vacuum and removed as many bubbles as I could. Even after vacuuming, the sucker  had TONS of bubbles I couldn’t remove!

two part mold

4. Poured mixture in the frame until it covered the piece.  You can see the bubbles I couldn’t get rid of! Urgh!! I set it aside and waited 16 hours for the mold to cure at room temperature.

silicone poured in frame

5. Removed mold from the aluminum frame and cut it open with an exxacto knife. Took the pendant out and examined the mold. You can see all the bubbles that didn’t come out at the top of the mold. Here’s when I started freaking out.  By some miracle from above, none of the bubbles touched my mold! wohoo! Thank you Jesus!

mold cut open

6. Injected the mold with wax 5 times. Hubby gave me the green light to produce more than just his gift. So 4 of these babies will be up for sale soon! Woot!

wax injection

7. Then I made a wax tree out of the wax models that I was casting in silver. Notice the green anchor? That’s another custom order!

wax sprue

8. Filled the flask with investment, placed it in the steam dewaxer for 1 hour. Once the timer was done I put it in the hot kiln and  waited patiently for the 5hr burnout process to be completed.

steam dewaxer, kiln and spincaster

9. After a loooong burnout process the wax melts and the investment hardens leaving and empty cavity in the shape of the wax models. This cavity is then ready to be filled with melted silver using a centrifugal casting machine. I put the flask in the spincaster and melt the silver. Then when the silver is liquid, I let the casting machine spin and the centrifugal force shoots the melted silver in the flask filling out the cavities. So awesome.

using the spincaster

10. After submerging the scolding hot flask in water, the investment dissolves and the cast silver pieces come out with ease. They are black from oxidation and, to remove it, I put them in an environmentally safe pickling solution until they turn white. Cut out each piece with the jeweler’s saw and keep the scrap silver for future pieces. Nothing is wasted.

silver tree

11.  File, sand and polish the piece. Here I am polishing the pendant.

polishing silver

12. Clean in the piece in the ultrasonic and done! Phew!  Casi que no! Happy anniversary!

finished silver hei matau pendant1

always with love,

Adriana

Filigree Earrings with Butterflies and Amethysts

This is the new addition to my Tears of Joy Earring collection! Hope you like it! Depending on the angle, the butterflies also look like daisies! 🙂always with love butterfly earrings

always with love butterfly earrings 2

always with love butterfly earrings 3

sorry for the blur in the pics! 

always with love butterfly earrings 4

polish and clean the earrings

always with love butterfly earrings 5

always with love butterfly earrings 6

Add them to your earrings and you’re done!

IMG_7540

Always With Love,

Adriana

 

Bubble Earring and Ring Set

Here are some pictures (taken with my iPhone) that show you how I made my latest jewelry set. The pictures demonstrate how I made the earrings first, and then the ring. The fabrication process required many steps and here I show you the most important ones.

The order of pictures goes from left to right.

Oh, my Jewelry Photographer is out of town which means that the final earrings pic will come soon! For now, enjoy the process and the finished ring pic professionally shot by Pixeltoaster Studios!

1.
earring and ring tutorial2.

earring and ring tutorial23.

earring and ring tutorial34.

earring and ring tutorial4

 

IMG_7544

 

Always With Love - Silver Bubbles ring

Men’s Cut Out Ring

End of may means one thing for me. Gotta get ready and make father’s day items!

In honor of all cool jewelry wearing dads, I made a cut-out ring that looks like two ring bands in one. I love the jeweler’s saw and instead of making two rings and soldering them together I cut them. Let me show you.

1. Gather your tools.

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some tools used

•Jeweler’s Saw •Precision Square •220 & 400 Sandpaper Stick •Automatic Hole Puncher •Flat hand file • Scribe •Inside ring sanding mandrel • Drill bit •3m Sanding Wheels •Divider •Digital Caliper

2.  To make a size 11 men’s ring cut a 16 gauge sterling sheet 64.6mm X 11mm with the saw. File the sides flat, checking for angles and evenness with the square. Open the divider to 3.68mm and trace a line on all 4 sides. Find the center and trace two perpendicular lines 8mm wide. Drill holes in the center lines. I color the metal with a Sharpie marker to remind me where not to cut.

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measure, scribe and drill

3. Once cut, file and sand the metal. It should look like this:

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after cutting and sanding

4. Before bending the ring, we need to anneal it with the torch to make the metal soft. Wide rings can be hard to shape if you skip this step, not to mention you may crack the metal. Quench, pickle, rinse, and dry.

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anneal your metal

5. Bend the ring and make sure the ends meet without gaps. Ring is ready to flux, solder, quench, pickle, rinse, and dry.

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bend and join ends for soldering. pretty comes later.

6. Place ring in the ring mandrel and with a rawhide hammer, give it its beautiful round shape. File, sand polish… and don’t forget the stamp!

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after shaping, sanding, and polishing.

handmade jewelry by always with love

handmade jewelry by always with love

And done.

Open butterfly ring with turquoise resin

Open rings are very popular right now, so I decided to make one the AWL way. I made this one out of Sterling Silver (925) and blue turquoise resin. The resin I use is called Colores and I purchased it from my favorite jewelry supplier: Riogrande.

First I made the wings and ring band out of 16 gauge silver sheet. I thought I was going to keep it simple, but my husband suggested I do something else to the design… so I did

I soldered 18 gauge wire to the wings and made silver granules to embellish it. This is what the pieces looked like individually.

always with love butterfly before soldering

I cut the shank open with the saw and filed the edges round. Before soldering I stamped the piece with my” AWL” makers mark and the “sterling” quality mark.  The following is not the best picture, but you get the idea.

photo 2 (2)

Polish the piece (no picture for that step, sorry!) and then apply the resin. My husband loves this part so I let him do it. We used the blue Colores resin and mixed according to the instructions in the bottle.  He used a syringe to ensure a perfect fill. He did great!

hubby applying resin to jewelry

hubby applying resin to jewelry

Allow a few hours to dry and its ready!

Always With Love Butterfly Ring

Always With Love Open Butterfly Ring

Citrine Flower Ring

Many of us don’t understand the value of handmade jewelry. This is because we don’t know how much time, material and work goes into finishing a single piece. We are used to everything being machine made or mass produced and we drift towards less pricey items. To give you an idea of why handmade jewelry is priced higher than mass produced items, I will show you the steps I took to make a sterling silver flower ring.

Steps:

1. After making a brass prototype of the flower petals, the band, and the bezel, I proceed to make molds of each individual piece and inject them with wax. The ring consists of 3 parts making it more time consuming and challenging.

wax models

wax models

2. I cast the wax models in Sterling Silver.

Castings ready to be cut and finished.

Castings ready to be cut and finished.

3. Cut, file, sand, and polish the castings. Assemble the 3 part flower ring (band, bezel, & petals) and solder.

Ring ready to be soldered.

Ring ready to be soldered.

4. Once all 3 parts are soldered and connected, its time to set the stone. I melt dop wax in a ring clamp, insert the ring in it and place the citrine in the bezel. Then with an electrical hammer, I hammer the bezel down so that the metal covers the stone completely. This has to be done very carefully or else you could break or chip the stone. Can you see the hammer marks on the metal around the stone?

Ring in dop wax after hammering the bezel.

Ring in dop wax after hammering the bezel.

5. File and sand the hammer marks off.

notice the metal around the stone is smooth now.

Notice the metal around the stone is smooth now.

6. Remove from ring clamp and soak in paint thinner to get rid of residual wax. Clean. Do a final polish if needed, and Done!

Finished flower ring.

Finished flower ring.

As you can see, this  its not a piece that can be finished in one day. It requires time, patience and lots, and I mean LOTS of work. 🙂

If you liked what you just saw, leave me a comment below!

Adri