Monday, February 28, 2011

Vera's Ring

Every once and awhile I get a project that I am excited to do, but need some time to figure out how I am going to attack it. This white gold and sapphire ring was just such a project! Vera came to me with a finished ring that she had made in the Middle East that she just didn't wear. It was a bit too wide and not as interesting as she was hoping it would be. We discussed the idea of making it look like three bands and having the stones suspended on either side of a central one. I considered making it out of three bands and the five settings, but soldering it together seemed like a logistical nightmare. I tried carving the whole ring in wax, but carving a clean setting is just beyond my skill level. So like Jennifer's ring, I carved the shank in wax and then just had the challenge of soldering the five settings in place. I am happy to say it worked and I am really pleased with the final product. I'll see Vera this week, so I'll find out if she likes it too!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jennifer's ring

AKA "the Pope's ring". This has to be one of the largest stones I've ever set for a ring! Jennifer and I bumped into each other at a pub and she had this loose stone with her. Over loud music and a pint of beer, we talked about a ring and she entrusted me with the amethyst. I'm sure she's been wondering if she would ever see it again!
I decided to make it in two stages since it was so large. I hand built the setting (meaning I cut and shaped sheet and wire silver) to get a clean product, and cast (carved in wax) the shank of the ring to get a chunky, sculptural product. The first photo is of the two pieces before a first file and polish, then after the first polish, then all soldered together and finished off with the gorgeous amethyst Jennifer had.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Siobhan's ring

I was asked by a friend to make her a family ring with the birthstones of her three beautiful girls. I must say, that I still have visions of looking through the Sears catalogue as a kid and seeing all of the versions of 'family rings' there on the glossy pages. Ugh!! Siobhan's celtic heritage was the inspiration for this ring. That has much more significance than just making a ring with the right colors of birthstones.

The next family ring I'll be working on is a flying saucer! You won't find that in a Sears catalogue...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Woven ring

This is another design that I've had for awhile, but not as long as the concave ring! I taught a casting class when I first came to Kelowna and I carved this ring in wax as the demo. I had just come back from a weekend in Seattle and was taken with some ceramic bowls that I saw there. The artist had woven it out of strips of clay and I appropriated the idea in metal. This ring has a garnet set in it that I just purchased at the Gem Show.

To see more images of this ring, go to

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Concave garnet ring

Not just stones get ignored, but I keep designs sitting around for years too. I made this ring when I studied jewelry making in Italy in 2002. WOW- That is nine years ago! I finally made a mold of it and cast it just before I left for Phoenix. I finished the first one just yesterday and am really happy with how it turned out with a stone in it. I have some princess cut stones (square) in 5mm that are going to look great in this ring. Better late than never!

To see more pictures of this ring, go to

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink Tourmaline ring

I got lucky!! Remember that moonstone I took a picture of mid January and then chipped? Well I found a replacement for it in Tucson. Actually, Heather helped out and with some patience was sifting though a whole bunch of tourmalines and found this perfect fit. It is a stone with inclusions, but is cut well and has a nice soft color that looks better with the silver than the original moonstone did. It has tube set diamonds on either side of the setting that stick out like rivets. I'm glad a stone was found because I sure like this design!

To see more pictures of this design, go to

Peridot ring

Back in the studio today and finished this great ring. I had it all ready and set when I left, but it needed a final sanding and polish before I could take any photos. I'll post it on Etsy with more photos so it can been seen from different angles and also on a finger. It has a twisted curve that makes it look perfect on a left hand.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tucson day!

Here is a shot of just some of the things I purchase while we were down there. It was a quick one- we left Phoenix at 7:30am and hit the front door of the AGTA (American Gem and Trade Association) show just after 9am. With the help of my BFF Heather, we were able to go to three venues that featured about 1500 exhibitors. I had a very comprehensive list of things to purchase so with her eagle eye and my quick decision making, it was an easy day! I have to look back and remember my first year at the gem show- my mouth was open most of the time and I took most of the day to even make my first purchase. Not anymore! There are still things that make my mouth drop open though. I saw a pariaba tourmaline that was the size of a walnut and was such a bright blue/green that it seemed impossible to be true. One day I will have one of my own- much smaller though I'm sure!