A sterling silver Om overlay pendant and Moonstone stacker ring I created for a co-worker to give to his wife as an anniversary present.
The bale was formed from half-round wired shaped and filed to give it a slight “valley” down the center, with a border of twisted rope wire. The base of the overlay was textured with a diamond bit after being soldered onto the top pierced layer, which adds a bit of dimension to the patina given by the liver of sulfur.
Ironically, the ring came about as the square-wire band was textured on three sides with a cross-peen hammer, and had actually been soldered onto the edge of the pendant as a border element. But, I didn’t like the way it looked and wound up cutting it back off, and went with the twisted rope border instead. Not wanting to allow the textured wire to entirely go to waste though, I cleaned it back up a bit and created the Moonstone stacker ring band with some of it instead. 😀
Here’s a picture of the opal earrings I made for my mother-in-law back in 2014, and which kind of kicked off a “rediscovered” passion for silversmithing after an absence of over two decades in a way.
I had often missed creating silver jewelry, but never really had a place where I could do more than a quick repair, or something very simple as we were apartment dwellers never in the same place for long due to my job at the time.
Made from sterling sheet and wire, the bezels were hand-serrated and set within a twisted rope border. The opal stones are about 5-6 mm triangular free-form cabochons that I had acquired well over 30 years earlier, too.
In fact, when I originally purchased them, I had also purchased another slightly larger opal that I later used in creating a ring for Kathy back in the late 80’s (and is when I discovered apartment living really *does* limit what you can do when it comes to silversmithing). 😉
It was after I had made Kathy that ring and her mom had seen it, that I wound up promising to make a pair of earrings with the other two opals for her. You can read more details about that on this site’s About page.
Another one of my early 2014 projects… a “Trinity Cross” comfort ring I made for Kathy by taking heavy gauge half-round wire and forming it flat-side out on the ring mandrel.
The idea of “comfort ring” was taken from my wedding band, as bands that were formed with smoothly rounded inside edges and marketed for their “comfort fit” were big at the time, and they really are quite comfortable bands to wear.
After soldering the band closed and bringing it to size, I then filed a trio of Crosses evenly spaced onto the face to represent the three Crosses on Calvary, followed by a little oxidization with liver of sulfur to make them stand out.
This picture was taken after *much* daily wear as you can tell by the scratches, yet still remains one of her favorites.
This one kind of dates me, as this is the opal ring I made for Kathy back in the 80’s that I’ve talked about elsewhere on the site, when I lived in a studio apartment in West Texas (though it could actually also use a touch-up or two and some re-polishing!).
Made entirely of some scrap sterling sheet I still had in my toolbox at the time and a few hand-tools, this is the piece that resulted in a request by my mother-in-law for a pair of opal earrings back then which took me close to three decades to finally make. :-/
Not having anything in the apartment to attach my bench pin to, and using a portable torch set-up with disposable propane and oxygen bottles for soldering proved to be a little challenging in some ways, but I was determined to get it done.
I thought the free-form opal cabochon looked a little like a pear, and as the style of jewelry I was so accustomed to making at the time was southwestern in form, I thought a design incorporating a serrated leaf, serrated bezel and a split-shank band (all very popular in southwestern jewelry at the time) would go good with it.
Just a few of the many stacker rings set with 5 mm cabochon stones that I have made for Kathy and friends…
With hammered bands, the gems used in the above picture are (clockwise from the top) Denim Lapis, Nephrite Jade, Moonstone, Adventurine and Amazonite.
Some of the many cabochon stacker rings I’ve made include stones of Carnelian, Black Onyx, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Amethyst, Citrine, Peridot, Swiss Blue Topaz, Salmon Coral, Iolite, Pink Sapphire, Rose Quartz, Hematite, a variety of Moonstone, and others.
Above are some of the stacking rings I made for a co-worker’s wife. Pictured on her hand are Citrine, Adventurine, Moonstone, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and a stamped Lotus Flower as well as plain hammered stacker bands.
A work-in-progress shot of a 3-stone ring in the making that includes a faceted oval Golden Topaz set in a prong basket, with two faceted 5mm green Cubic Zirconium gems to be tube-set with prongs. All pieces hand-crafted individually.
The one on the left is set with a Chatham lab-created Emerald, and the one on the right is set with a Swiss Blue Topaz. Both beautiful stones are tube-set with prongs, though the bands differ slightly.
This is actually not a very good photo of this ring (I am NOT the photographer in the family), so please excuse my poor pictures.
The ring was created from half-round wire formed and filed to shape, then set with eight Gypsy Set (flush-mounted) 2mm Chocolate Cubic Zirconium gems.
I’ll see if I can’t get a better picture of this ring at a later date perhaps, as it really is much nicer than what I have been able to portray here, all out of focus with poor lighting and crazy reflections going on. :-/
OK, the basic idea for the ring below may have come from a retail catalog, but when Kathy said “I bet you could make something like that, couldn’t you?”, well, what else could I do than at least give it a try?
In the end I think it turned out even better than the cast ring in the catalog, except this Valentine’s Day present was handmade and fabricated from wire and sheet, not a cast identical in every detail to thousands of others!