The process by which we create our jewelry is called fabrication, which might seem uselessly tautological, but the term has a technical meaning in our craft which is NOT CASTING. Fabrication is the building up of a piece by soldering parts together. For solder we use a silver-based alloy with small amounts of zinc to give melting and flow temps a little lower than the precious metal alloys the parts are made from. This gives strengths more similar to brazing or welding processes than to the ‘soldering iron’ results of the tin and lead solders with which people are more familiar.
The piece here is the most complicated fabrication we have so far accomplished, with close to a hundred solder joints. Fortunately they are often made several at a time. A lot of them have to be made above the block though because rings.
We call this a Murphy ring. This one is set with a good-sized lapis lazuli cabachon.
The price is $299. The size measures a ten. These rings run a bit large from having a hollow place behind the bezel. These rings are hard to size but I’ll probably do it. Or I will find a stone you approve and build a new one.
Here are three rings with braid bands, two in the single braid style and one in the double. In two of the rings the bezel head forms a stylized scarab design.
So we call those Bug Rings.
Counter-clock-wise from the top in the first picture the rings here are: 1. A single braid set with a hexagonal green jade ($150) 2. a single braid bug ring with an amethyst body and a citrine head ($165) 3. a double braid bug ring with a lapis lazuli body and a holley blue agate head ($196.)
The braid for the rings is made by braiding three sterling silver wires together in a piece about twenty inches long. Pieces are cut from this and all those places where they cross are soldered. This assembly is forged to a suitable evenness and border wires are soldered on. This further assembly is forged and sanded flat enough to solder onto a heavy plate which is cut out and finished before being bent into a ring shank.
Three rings that fit me. Some of our styles are heavier, wider, bigger than others. Some are lighter. We try to make a good distribution. Anybody can buy any kind they want. But these ones fit me.
From the top down these rings are: 1. A double braid ring with a moss agate ($175) 2. A lisa ring with a fire agate ($165) 3. A winged thor ring with twist bezel and a black onyx ($170).
Green moss agate is a stone from India, and was a perennial favorite among the rock hounds who I hung out with a lot back in the early days. All the moss agate we have to set are cut into gems in our studio.
Over the years we did a lot of the lapidary work in our pieces. Those days are probably mostly in the past but we still have a lot of rough and all the equipment (in better working order than its operators) so occasionally some cutting gets done still.
A big gallery of some pretty lousy pictures of garnet rings. I was trying to show how lively and bright these stones are but washed out the silver work in the process. Probably won’t use this set-up again, but in the spirit of simple and repeatable we’re going to inflict them on everyone anyway. Waste not ….
Over the years (decades?) sterling silver rings with colored stones have become probably the major part of our work. Garnets are always a mainstay. Pictured here, left to right on the horizontal paint-brush picture are: 1. a 10 x 8 mm oval cabochon set in the filigre style ($141) 2. a 7 (ish) mm round faceted stone set in a winged thor ($196) 3. a 6 mm round faceted stone set in a filigre ring ($190) 4. a 5 x 7 mm oval cabachon set in a winged thor (with a twist bezel) ($191, that’s what the list says, seems high?) 5. a 4 x 6 mm faceted oval set in a twist ring($112.)
As always, sizing is included with the purchase, (mostly) free of additional charge.
We call most every ring with no stone a plain band. These are in a low dome style. The thinner ones (~6mm w x 2 mm h) are formed from stock wire. We call them plain Thor rings and can easily produce them in any size. The wider ones (~8 mm x 2 mm) are cast from molds taken off rings I forged from silver bars. We have a lot of them on hand so there’s a good chance we’ll have one that fits. We’ll probably cast more batches but we don’t do it regularly. (Nothing like an order for incentive.) These are called plain Lisa rings.
Either style can have (a limited number of) words stamped on it.
Prices at present for these rings in sterling silver are $40 for Thor and $60 for Lisa and $15 to $25 for stamping. Plus shipping if needed ($10 usually.)
Site Plan. We have a plan for website and internet commerce. We’re (Wayne really!) putting lots of pictures in lots of blog posts with some hopefully not-too-random comments and lots of tags. Each post is in particular tagged with the sort of piece (ring, earring, etc.) it is and our name for the style and the kind of stone if it has one. This stuff is all in a tag cloud over to the right. So if you click on the one called ring, right now you will get two posts about rings in a column you can scroll or swipe through. There’s also some tags for informational topics addressed. So if you tap site plan on the list, you will be brought to this informative post.
Couple of rings we brought back from Oregon Country Fair, even though we sold them. Both of them are in the filigre style, named for the bits of wire work buttressing the sides of the bezel. One is a fairly bright garnet that’s sort of purple and is cut en cabachon (smooth & rounded.) The other is a really sparkly white sapphire with a facet cut. The setting charge for this style is around $120 to $150. The garnet is a fairly affordable stone, and didn’t add too much to the price. The sapphire was more.
Sizing. The reason we’re bringing them home is because when we originally made them, it wasn’t in the size required by the eventual customer. As you can imagine, this happens a lot, and we have to be ready, willing and able to deal with it. Sometimes we can stretch them a bit on the spot and the customer can take their piece away with them, but usually we have to bring the ring back to the studio, unset the stone, and make a new setting in the required size. We promise shipment of the sized ring within four weeks. Sometimes there is a $10 shipping charge.
Often we can salvage much of the original metalwork for a new ring.
At the show, or anywhere else in person, we can figure out the size you need, but if you’re ordering remotely, online or by phone or something, then you need to know your size. Gauges are available online or perhaps someone already has one. In a pinch we usually have some available that we can mail fairly inexpensively.