Friday, May 22, 2009

Handmade Wedding Bands

This custom wedding band is one of a pair made for a great Nova Scotian couple who will be married in July. They designed the rings themselves, preferring simple sterling silver bands with the curved design to represent their love for the ocean, as well as each other. See the ring come to life below.

1. The sterling sheet (0.8 mm thick) was measured to ensure the right ring size, and cut with a saw. A’s ring size is 7, so the silver needed to be 56.5 mm in length.

2. The silver strip was stamped with the couples' initials. These are new stamps, a finer font than my other ones, just got them from Rio Grande.

3. The small hole was drilled in the band to allow the saw blade to be inserted. A curved line was cut freehand down the length of the band, taking care to stop before the stamped initials.

4. To prepare for soldering, the edges of the band were sanded so that they met flush, tightly enough so that you don’t see light through the joint.

5. The band was fluxed, to clean the joint and to prevent firescale from forming on the silver. I solder with a Smith’s Little Torch, using propane and oxygen. To solder a joint like this, you want a bushy flame with a soft hiss, blue with a bit of orange. After soldering, the ring was pickled in an acid solution to clean it.

6. To make it perfectly round, the band was then put on the ring mandrel, and hammered with a rawhide mallet. Now it looks more like a ring.

7. The ring was then sanded with increasingly finer grades of sandpaper (from 180 to 600) to remove scratches. To give it a mirror shine, it was then polished with silicone discs. To finish it off, the ring was tumbled with stainless steel shot for fourty five minutes.

And there you have it, a sterling ring to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Home Sweet (you know the rest...)

Its always exciting to find pieces of sea pottery with images, and houses and castles are my very favourite. And bittersweet, because we're trying to sell our home right now, which isn't my favourite thing to do. It probably doesn't help that what would be a dining room (if we were civilized folk) is my studio, crammed with our sea glass finds and floating in silver dust. This piece of sea pottery is bezeled in fine silver and hangs on an 18" sterling silver snake chain. If you'd like to see more pics of this, visit the listing in our etsy shop (and buy my house please).
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