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!
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.
2. Took two aluminum plates and covered the frame. Placed two small clasps on each side to hold the frames tightly.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
11. File, sand and polish the piece. Here I am polishing the pendant.
12. Clean in the piece in the ultrasonic and done! Phew! Casi que no! Happy anniversary!
always with love,
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.
I am THRILLED to announce that my Facebook Page just made it to 1000 Fans! Woot! I am so happy thankful for every single one of my fans/likers/followers and everyone who entered the cash giveaway.
I would like to give something back, the best way I know how. So… shipping is on me! Yay! Promo code expires 8/31/2013. Enjoy!
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.
•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.
3. Once cut, file and sand the metal. It should look like this:
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.
5. Bend the ring and make sure the ends meet without gaps. Ring is ready to flux, solder, quench, pickle, rinse, and dry.
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!