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New Project - Carnelian and Sterling Silver Etched Ring

I'm really enjoying creating jewellery for me for a change! Despite making jewellery to sell I very rarely set something aside just for myself. Why? I have no idea other than the uncontrollable urge I have to keep making new pieces to add to my shops. In fact I feel a tiny bit guilty spending time making jewellery for myself which is utter madness I know.

So to make up for this I've been making pieces at my jewellery course at night school that really are just for me and it makes me feel very extravagant {although I think that's more to do with the cost of silver to be honest!} As I make mostly earrings to sell and not really being a pendant type of person (I should be I know) the last two projects I did at college were rings.

The latest is an etched silver and carnelian combination which morphed into being like a lot of my stuff does. It was originally going to lie lengthways along my finger than I realized it looked better going across. The shape changed several times until I went for ovals with the cab positioned off centre.
I'll be honest I had a bit of trouble soldering the small oval onto the base because of the etched design. Some of the solder flowed out onto the base piece which I cleaned up as best I could without taking off most of the etched pattern. The solder didn't flow all the way round either due to the uneven surface. Oxidizing it helped to cover some of the design irregularities {my made up term for mistakes!} And I still need to practice my finish on the very top edge of the bezel - I'd like it to be perfectly smooth and tight to the cab but fear of slipping with the burnisher and scratching the stone stops me from pressing too hard. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist ? Any advice on this would be welcome  - not on me being a perfectionist, more on smoothing the top of the bezel :D

There's a two week break from college for Easter then we're back and I'm planning on making a pair of etched silver hollow form earrings with bezel set cab...........although that may change if I suddenly find something else I just have to try.
Stay tuned!


  1. It's a stunning ring and it looks perfect to me!
    I rarely make a piece of jewelry for myself either. The exceptions are the pieces I make in classes -- just like you! Once in a while I'll keep a pair of simple earrings too.

  2. Stunning piece! I am horrible about making things for myself too. It is difficult to take the time for ourselves with so many other things going on. Have a wonderful Easter holiday.

  3. Thanks for your comments Vicky and Val. We really should make more for ourselves :D

  4. I love that ring you've made! And I totally know what you mean about feeling guilty for making jewellery for yourself - I not only did the exact same thing, but blogged about it last week! Lol! Let's make a pact to both not feel guilty, hey?! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing the ring that you made for yourself and I find it interesting to read your comments about not making for yourself. I don't necessarily make jewellery for myself but generally have the sample pieces that I make to try out a new design to wear and test out for myself!! Is not naughty!!

  6. It's seems a common thing that us jewellery makers don't make for ourselves very often!

  7. You can cover the stone with masking tape or rubber cement to protect it whilst burnishing.

  8. Thanks for that tip Deborah, I might try it next time :D

  9. I totally know what you mean about feeling guilty for making jewelers for yourself.
    I don't necessarily make jewelers for myself but generally have the sample pieces that I make to try out a new design to wear and test out for myself.

  10. Just 'bumped' into you this evening while googling 'how to solder findings to hollow forms' and I'm very glad I did. The first thing that I saw was this simple but very well finished domed copper earrings. I love the way you soldered the SS earwires and they looked really chic. And then I saw the hole that you put to avoid a likely explosion while soldering the hollow form. That back view and your explanation post 'taught' me how to go about soldering my findings to my silver hollow forms.

    I am a largely self-taught and very time-constrained, part-time jewellery maker. I really like the look of your pieces and those really colourful enamelled pieces. And your ring with the layered base and off-side stone.

    As regards how to finish your bezel your bezel edges, you should try a flat graver to even the edges. I learnt (not had time to practice it yet though I have the tools) that from John Cogswell's book on stonesetting. I can't remembered the title exactly, but it's a really good book.

    Off now to read through the rest of your posts. Can't wait for tomorrow to solder my findings. Very nice 'meeting' you.

  11. Thanks for your kind words Antonia.
    Soldering on jump rings and earwires is something that doesn't come easily to me but I am getting better each time!
    Thanks for the tip about using a flat graver on the edge of a bezel.

  12. This is a stunning ring, was wondering if the back plates were textured PMC or rolled through a mill - never thought of etching!

    Next time, you can try sweat soldering. Flux the backside base of the bezel, put a few solder pieces on the back and melt the solder all over the back of the bezel. Give it a quench and sand lightly. Then sit the bezel right side up onto the etched piece and solder the two together. It may help.

    Another thing I've learned is that solder won't flow where you have painted metal with liquid white out. So you could paint the pits of the etching with the liquid white out beyond where the bezel covers to stop solder from flowing where you don't want it. Or paint all area beyond where bezel will cover!

    Stunning work!


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