Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Phoenix ring

There is a moral to this post which will be revealed later ..the clue is in the title! I have not updated you on my recent silversmithing work so I thought you may be interested to see what I have been up to last term at my day class. Our first project was to make a ring claw setting for a stone. This is no mean feat as this means literally from scratch from round silver wire. This post looks fairly short but it is actually many weeks of classes.

I have missed out photos of all the endless filing, annealing, bending, more filing, more get the idea and have given you a snap shot of the process.

Voila! Yes I know that this does not look much like a claw setting but you start with measuring the stone and making 2 accurate rings from wire, soldering them shut and marking them in quarters. The other piece of wire makes up one of the side struts.

Next I filed small grooves were filed in the outside quarters of the rings and I soldered the strut in place. It was such a balancing act to keep everything in place. It actually took me an hour to set it up to solder.

I made up the other side struts with straight pieces of wire and again after much patience soldered them in place.

Next I made a ring blank by measuring my finger and making this out of square wire.

Like this.

and then carefully soldered the whole lot together. Can you see now that  it is looking much more like a claw setting for a ring?

Next I placed the stone in and then  had to then cut down the claws tips down to size. You can see I have marked them with red pen where I needed to saw.

And with the claws the right side I had to push over the edges very carefully to set the stone in place.

Now here is the moral of the story.....never fiddle with jewellery! This is what happened next....

After I took this photo I noticed that the ring was very slightly out of shape and as I am a bit of a perfectionist I decided just to make the sank perfectly round again. BIG MISTAKE. I put the ring on a ring mandrel, gave it a tap with a hide mallet to straighten it up but  I dislodged a small soldered joint. In trying to re solder the joint the heat cracked the stone!! Yup, I do mean it destroyed the stone despite using heat protector etc etc. It was one of those rather heart sink moments as a silversmith!

 I have taken out the stone but I have not yet had the heart to try to find something similar as this was a one off stone. When I am next up in Hatton Garden in London I will have a look. Also the claws will need altering with a new stone so it is not just a simple case of "popping in " a stone. So this piece is now sitting in my tool box waiting for the day that I feel I can resurrect the "Phoenix ring". It may yet rise from the ashes. There is a great song in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a film I remember as a kid, where they sing "From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success". I do find myself humming that when I think of my Phoenix ring.

The really positive thing about this project though is that I learnt SO many skills and perfected ones I already had. Nothing is ever lost when things like this happen, it's all a learning curve. I agree with my Mum who has always said that we learn more through our mistakes than through our successes.

So that I end this post on a cheerful note I have a happy card to enter for some challenges today!

This sweet image is my favourite Lili of the Valley cutie called Rosie Posy

I coloured her with my trusty Promarker pens
and highlighted her with my Prismacolor pencils. I added a little bling to the centres of the flowers in her posy.

I also added some lovely paper mulberry roses around the hand stamped sentiment and added a lovely bright piece of red stripy ribbon.

She is a real sweetie isn't she.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Lil's Little Fairies Challenge 2, favourite stamp
I love Promarkers Challenge 99 Cute and cuddly
Passion for Promarkers's Inspired by a song and in keeping with my post my inspiration has to be "The Roses of Success" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
Cupcake crafts  something new My "new" are the wonderful pink mulberry flowers.
Whimsey cards challenge 21 Happy Birthday
Penny black Allsorts Love and hearts
Joanna Sheen January challenge, Celebrations
Top Tip Tuesdays Anything goes
Dream Valley Anything goes  
Simon Says Spots and/or stripes

So this card has to be dedicated to all my wonderful blog reader's and I know there are a LOT of you out there; my recent stats show that. Hello to those who silently read and thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment on my posts. I love to read them, it makes my Journal writing very pleasurable.

It's nearly the weekend again, we are off to visit our daughter and her fiancĂ© and we hope to get in a coastal walk. The weather looks as though it may turn chilly so we will wrap up warm.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you do and remember this card is Just for You x 

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x


Laney said...

Jane. How do you find the time?? I have two projects to blog, and both need pictures, I got the camera out and the battery was dead! When I will find a few minutes again this week, I don't know :O(

Still...gorgeous ring...and you silly billy! I love love love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, went to see it in London a few years ago, was one of the few performances they actually got the car to fly! I love the part when all the dogs come running on stage in the sweet factory..'tute sweets, tute sweets'

Another gorgeous card. Laney x

Jane said...

Hmmm I know I should have left well alone Laney-LOL. I think I just find time for things, I must admit I am not someone who really ever sits down and yes I do have to fit this in with work! Could we have a 30 hour day?
Take care,
Jane x

Elaine Stark said...

Your ring was beautiful, I feel so sorry it was ruined, but we all make silly mistakes. love your card too. A lovely image and colours. Thanks for joining top Tip Tuesday. Elaine

Jane said...

Thanks Elaine, it was a great learning curve...look out for the phoenix rising at some point!
Jane x

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Oh no Jane, I'm gutted and it's not even my ring! I was just admiring it and thinking how lucky you were to make and own such a beautiful ring when I read the words 'this is what happened next'!! How sad, it was so lovely too. Hopefully you'll be able to rescue it someday.
I love Rosie Posy. :)
Have a lovely weekend jane!
V x

Jane said...

Perhaps I should have put a warning up Vivienne at the start ;0) Poor ring!
Rosie Posy is my favourite stamp.She is such fun to colour and always makes a cheerful card. Have a lovely weekend too,
Jane x

CraftyC said...

A beautiful card Jane, I love Rosie Posy. Thanks for taking part in the Dream Valley & Lili's Little Fairies Challenges

Mia said...

Dear Jane,

What a story! I am so sorry for your ring, after all that hard work it just cracked like that! BUT I am also a firmly believer that you will find the perfect stone for it and finish it even more beautiful. You have the strength to start working it with again, and go all the the way to the perfection (I probably would have left the class and never gone back) - that's just one of you many talents.

I wish you a wonderful weekend and beautiful weather to go with it!


Teje said...

Oh Jane, I'm sorry about the accident with your ring which was so beautiful! The stone is special! I hope you find something you really like! Have a wonderful weekend with your daughter!
x Teje

by Teresa said...

Hi Jane, wow, you did a wonderful job on the ring. Was it an amethyst you set in it that broke? They're pretty soft stones. I hope you find a new stone and that you can salvage the ring.. it will be beautiful! Love the card, have you been winning any of the contests you submit to? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Jane said...

Hi Claire she is sweet isn't she.
Jane x

Jane said...

I will wait until I feel ready to work on it again but yes I will finish it. It's ready frosty here this morning so will need to wrap up warm. Happy Friday my dear.
Jane x

Jane said...

I shall look out for a new stone Teje. We are really looking forward to seeing Milly and Tom. Have a lovely weekend .
Jane x

Jane said...

Thanks Teresa it was a synthetic stone and I pasted it heavily with paste protector. I was unlucky I guess . No luck with coming out of Mr Random number yet but I really enjoy all the challenges. Enjoy you weekend.
Jane x

Liza said...

A gorgeous creation. Thanks for joining in with our something new challenge this week at CCC.

Liza x

Linda Hensley said...

Ohhhh! I've never been good at leaving well enough alone either. The ring looked beautiful while it lasted, and I'm sure it will look beautiful again when you find a good replacement stone. Thanks for showing the process and sharing your disappointment. Sometimes it's good to know that other people's learning curves include some disasters too.

Jane said...

Thanks Lisa!
Jane x

Jane said...

I totally agree Linda that we near to share our successes and our's the only way we ever learn. Now the problem with me is will I ever learn not to fiddle-LOL!
Enjoy your weekend,
Jane x

michele said...

Oh Jane, very impressive work! But my heart goes out to you- (tending my own "phoenix rose garden," here...) and I'll be waiting patiently to see the beautiful piece you'll create with your latest jewelry making skills!
Wonderful cards you're making- you're on a roll, my friend!
Happy Friday to you! :o)

Kerry said...

Oh Jane...what a beautiful ring and it will be again once you find a replacement stone. My daughter did silversmithing for 2 years and produced some gorgeous pieces and I know how time consuming it can be (kinda like cards in a way lol)As you say we learn from our mistakes so I know when you finish your ring it will be fabulicious!

Super cute card...I do love LOV (though I shouldn't really lol)Your colouring is fab and the jewels are gorgeous in the bouquet xx

Jane said...

Hi Michele, perhaps we should call ourselves the Phoenix girls! Great to see you back after all the festivities. Have a lovely weekend,
Jane x

Jane said...

Hi Kerry, there are so many hours of work in silversmithing, you obviously appreciate that through your daughter. It is indeed very much like card making ;0)
Enjoy your weekend,
Jane x

Kimberly said...

Super cute image and i love the extra touch of the bling..Thanks for joining us at PFP this week..

Jane said...

Thanks Kimberly those roses have real sparkle.
Jane x

louise said...

Gorgeous card love the colours you have used and wow what a lovely ring,thanks for joining us at Penny Black and more this month.
Hugs Louise xx

Jane said...

Thanks Louise .
Jane x

Jack said...

Fabulous card. And how heartbreaking to ruin your gorgeous ring right at the end. Thanks for joining us at Dream Valley. xx

oheidia said...

Really a great card! Love the title and the song you've been inspired of. Thanks for joining our challenge at PFP:)

plumcreek22 said...

Very bittersweet....I'm sorry to read about all of your work and unhappy outcome!! ( I love amethysts.)

Thanks for sharing this card and your hb's Valentine greeting.
Enjoy being with your daughter!

Anne x

Jane said...

Jack it was a real heartsink moment ! Thanks for visiting .
Jane x

Jane said...

It's an unusual song choice isn't it!
Jane x

Jane said...

Bittersweet indeed Anne ! I hope to find a new stone one day. Thanks for your kind comments .
Jane x

Helen Philipps said...

I loved this was fascinating and filled with suspense! I'm sorry for what happened...but I'm sure the ring will one day rise like the phoenix and become something lovely! Your new card is very sweet. Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.
Helen x

Jo (Boots the Monkey) said...

Beautiful ring, such a shame about your disaster but as they say, we live and learn !

Love your card too, gorgeous image.

Thank you for joining us at Simon Says Challenge this week.


Jo xxxx

Caroljenks said...

What a beautiful card - gorgeous colours and colouring!
Sorry to read about the ring - what a shame after all of that work!

Thanks for joining us over at Top Tip Tuesday for our 'Anything Goes' Challenge and don't forget we also give a prize to the best Top Tipper - see TTT for details on how to win!

Carol x

Jane said...

Thanks Helen my plan is that my phoenix ring will rise one day and be evenbetter. We had a lovely day yesterday with Milly and Tom. Enjoy your Sunday .
Jane x

Jane said...

Hi Jo it really was a huge learning curve and one that I have learnt from too . Lovely to see you here.
Jane x

Jane said...

All was not lost Carol as I certainly improved my silversmithing skills. It would have been nice to have a ring to wear at the end though ;-)
Jane x

Ribbon Girl said...

Oh Jane, I was biting my lip as I read down faster and faster to see what happened next - oh no, your poor ring after all that work! I would have had a paddy and stamped my foot (that's why I'm not a silversmith) Hope you get another stone that fits or have better luck with your new setting when you start again, as I'm sure you will, you have such patience. Oh, and your card is lovely! Mary G x

angeleef said...

Oh what a lovely card with stunning colours and details.
And your ring looks pretty fab too!
Thanks for joining us in the whimsy challenge
** Evi **
Whimsy Digi DT

Lisa M said...

Your ring turned out just beautiful. A real heart dropper hearing what happened, but still the process of seeing how you did it was just wonderful. :)

Your card is so cute and I love all the layers and textures. ;)

Thank you so much for playing along with us at Top Tip Tuesday!
Also, if you have a TIP you’d like to share you'll be eligible for the TOP TIPPER PRIZE as well. Check out the details when linking.
Lisa xx
Come by and visit us next week. We'd love to see you again!

Jane said...

Hi Mary I will confess that I did say a rather naughty work at that point -LOL! It was SO frustrating. Thanks for visiting me here again and your kind comments.
Jane x

Jane said...

Hi Lisa my ring was so beautiful...for about 5 minutes! Never mind it's part of life's rich tapestry! Thanks for liking my card
Jane x

Jane said...

Hi Evie, good to see you here ;0)
Jane x

The Crafty Den said...

Hi Jane, what a gorgeous card. I love the cute image and pretty papers. Thanks for joining us at cupcake craft challenge. Hugs, Denise x

Jane said...

Thanks so much Denise .
Jane x

WeirdCat said...

Great card, love the gems on the flowers and hope your ring gets resurrected soon, thank you for joining us at ♥Promarkers this week,
Ruth x

Jane said...

Thanks Ruth I hope my ring will rise one day! Thanks for liking my card,
Jane x

Caz said...

I really hope you manage to salvage your ring. Your card is beautiful.

xxxtglxxx said...

Super-cute card Jane - its lovely! :)

Thanks so much for joining us at I ♥ Promarkers this week,



Jane said...

I do too Caz...fingers crossed I can find a very similar stone,
Jane x

Jane said...

Thanks Alison,
Jane x

Shirley said...

Oh goodness, Jane..what you've done looks so very challenging, yet so very rewarding!! I will not look at a setting again without pondering the craftsmanship taken to make it! And yes, that song is fantastic...what a great theme to hum when pursuits you take up challenge you. Fabulous post and I so very much enjoy visiting you. The phoenix ring will surely make it's debut here I just know it!

Jane said...

Lovely to see you here again Shirley, there is a lot involved in stone setting! I will be back again soon with the rising of the Phoenix ring if I can find a stone! Take care,
Jane x

Eva Marie said...

Gorgeous ring!!
And a very cute card. The sentiment is so fab and the same with the image.
Thanks for joining us at DVC

Jane said...

Thanks Eva for visiting me here,
Jane x