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 polishing...you 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.
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.
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 fiancé 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
Bye for now,