Monday, May 31, 2010

Disaster ring and wire project

About a year ago, I started making a ring. I set it aside several times, picking it up here and there to do a little bit of sanding or soldering when I was at the jewelry bench doing other things. The bezel gave me a ton of trouble, though, so I had to redo it more than a couple of times. It would solder everywhere but one point, or would be a little uneven. Then I would sand it to try to get it level and weaken the bezel and decide to just start over. I don't know what it was, but there was something about that ring that just wouldn't come together. This happens from time to time, and when it does, I try to just set the troublemaker aside to try my luck on another day.

The sterling ring shank was super wide, and the large bezel setting waited for a hematite cabachon. A couple of weeks ago, I finished the setting. I thought. But I went to do one final sanding on the bezel and managed to create a small weak spot at the base. As I faced the thought of doing that bezel setting yet once more, I decided it was probably time to put the ring aside--again--for a while so I didn't get frustrated with it. But first, I would heat the whole thing up and take off the defective bezel so I would have a fresh start the next time I picked it up.

Instead, I overheated it.

Under my torch flame, the surface of the shank started to bubble and shrink back in what I have come to know meant the total death of the piece--the point of no return. I didn't turn off the torch and move away. I turned UP the torch and fried that entire thing into a shimmering puddle, gritting my teeth and probably muttering obscenities.

It wasn't until later that day that I realized I was relieved that the ring had melted into worthlessness. Finally, free of that stupid thing. I won't go out to the bench to work on something and see it lying there, mocking my inability to finish it. I don't have to try to figure it out. Ever. Again.

So all I have to offer is a sort of before and after of the ring; the materials I started with:

and the final product.

I guess it's a good thing I know I can at least use this mess by broom casting with it at some point.

I turned my attention to a project from Wire Jewelry magazine.

(Side note: I just started getting this publication and have been pretty pleasantly surprised by the abundance of ideas and projects it has. I don't do any wire wrapping, but I do use a lot of wire to make my findings and some of the simpler pieces I do. I get a few jewelry and glass work magazines and feel like they are half advertising...Wire Jewelry seems to go lighter on the ads.)

I made this bracelet, and I like the concept of it, but it's not so great on the functionality front. It is really hard to get on and off, and doing so can distort the wires going underneath the wrist. The project called for 14 gauge wire and I used 12, but still feel like it's a bit flimsy. I have thought about a way to make a clasp to attach the circle to the other side, but everything I have tried looks very out of place. In the end, I'm not sure what to do with it. I am going to have to put it aside for now and revisit it later...hopefully the result will be better than the ring I kept putting aside!

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