I'm happy to say the rings are finished, photographed, and on their way to the happy couple! What a relief to make a short deadline with beautiful results, don't you think? I'm looking forward to peaceful sleep now, no more fitful nights working out how I'm going to place this piece of silver or keep this other area from heat damage.
Ahhh... that's a good feeling! As soon as the final photos are sent to me, I'll post them here. Until then, only the bride and groom get to see what they look like. ;)
This project has me jumping! Sue's prongs are on the ring, seats for the diamonds are cut and all leveled. The piercing design is drawn, drilled, and sawn out on her ring. All that's left are the lots and lots of filing, sanding, and polishing stages. Jon's ring is about halfway through all the stages, and both rings will be finished by the end of the day.
My photographer had to postpone until tomorrow, so I was able to spend more time cutting out the piercing design and then use today for polishing. It's better to take my time with it since it adds not only the open feel Sue wanted, but because I really wanted to add to the story of the rings. The piercing creates the third vine on her ring using open space. There's a quote in the Bible that "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken", and each vine on her ring represents one of the cords (which represents the two of them bound together with God in their marriage).
Here are pictures of the prongs on (they won't be cleaned until the final stages) with the vine design being laid out and then pierced. The other photo is of Jon's ring during the rough polishing stage.
The rings are looking good! The tiny pieces on Jon's ring went on in one pass as well, although it took longer to heat up that much metal. I only struggled with one or two pieces before the flux settled down (even though it's dry it can still bubble up), but they behaved in the end.
Unfortunately, the thickness and width of the metal was more than I accounted for, which affects the ultimate size of the ring, so it didn't reach the right ring size. So, back to the bench to fix the problem, which added about two more hours to my day - but I got it right the second time. :)
Since I was on a roll I started putting the prongs on Sue's ring, which I hope to finish tomorrow. I'm still on schedule, but there is no room for mistakes now. I can't wait to get those diamonds in!
The pics are of Jon's ring first and then Sue's being hammered into shape on the mandrel.
Ok... things are going very well - don't worry Jon; I'm on schedule so far. All of the pieces on Sue's ring soldered very quickly and in one pass. I've never had that happen before, and I work with tiny pieces a lot, especially when I work in filigree. It was beautiful!
I laid out all of the pieces on Jon's ring, and am letting the pieces dry before soldering to prevent the tiny bits from jumping. The flux paste is what makes it look wet in the photos, and once it's dry it looks powdery white. The first photo is Sue's ring before soldering (with bits of solder on it), and the other two are the slow and methodical process of laying out the motif on Jon's ring.
At first I had a thinner silver wire for the his vine (the same size as for Sue's), but the scale made it look too feminine so I beefed it up with an 18 gauge and less curl, which worked perfectly. The leaves are also slightly larger on his, 3-4mm vs. the 2mm leaves on Sue's. I also added extra leaves that are spread throughout the design since there aren't any stones (and it fills the space nicely).
Tomorrow I solder Sue's ring closed, size it properly, and work on getting all the pieces of Jon's design on the ring. Keep watching for updates!
Has it really been that long since my last post? Wow, time flew by... but also, if there's nothing to say, than why make something up? Sometimes I just like to hunker down, get lots of work done, and then step back to reassess where I've been, where I'm at, and where I want to be. And it's led to this... A serendipitous request for wedding rings by two very sweet people who need them made quickly! I try not to feel ill when I think of just how soon they need to be done!
Jon, I thought you might enjoy watching them from start to finish - although you might not want to let Sue see them so she'll be surprised on your day!