Whenever I travel to dreamy places I have a hard time coming home. Everything here is, well, bland. There is no grand "bonjour" to greet you every time you open a door and enter a new space. Nor are there lovely wrought iron balconies perfectly decorated with luscious blooms. Needless to say, I was glum as I entered customs on the border back into the states. And the glumness ensued until I went to pick up my little lady. She is almost five, has rust colored eyebrows, a white snout and a big black nose. And does she ever sing and dance when she greets you after five days apart. After snuggling with my furry darling I woke up to good news. My vintage button cocktail ring had been purchased and will be finding a permanent home in Australia. For some time now I have been meaning to write a post about this ring. I took some pictures of myself working away on this one of a kind creation. Since I am missing the ring (unique pieces are always hard to part with) it seems a good time to finally get to business and start showing some pictures.
Here are all of the raw materials. I didn't start taking the pictures at the very start of the project but you can get the general idea. I have the ring shank which I hammered over a rounded square mandrel and soldered posts onto. These posts will serve as rivets to hold everything together. But that is rushing, we will get there!
As you can see, I skipped some of the steps. I had this design drawn out with a sharpie and used it as a guide for my drilling and piercing. It is hard to see here but there is a lot of sanding that needs to be done.
Out come the 3M radial discs. I use these to smooth the silver after drilling and sawing. Generally I sand down to a very fine grit and then decide how I want the finish to look. If I want a scratchy texture I go back with one of the coarser grits and make the texture even and purposeful.
I am most smitten with my tools. Here are all of my different grits of sandpaper on mandrels which makes cleaning rings dreamy.
See what I mean?
Sigh..... my hammers! The one on the left I found at an antique store in Maine.
I made this tool for riveting way back in the day at college. I am addicted to buying and making tools. Even they can be fun and a work of art.
Yes, you can see a smile. I am using tools and making noise! The best way to make jewelry as far as I am concerned.
Making certain that the rivets are holding everything together nice and tight. And, that they are smooth and add to the design.
Viola! The final product.
The button acts as a background to a landscape of wildflowers dancing around in the wind. I decided that a scratchy finish suited this theme the best, showing movement and reflecting color and light.
This ring is on a long journey, I hope it is exciting and lands in a great home where it will be worn with care.