14 September 2009

Shipping destination: Australia Item: One Vintage Button Cocktail Ring

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.


  1. Kevin says it is a lot of work to do one ring. He thinks it is pretty neat. It takes a lot of talent to do it and if your heart wasn't in it you would not be able to do what you do and do it well.m He still wants to see you at work in the studio.

  2. Wow thats beautiful! How was your trip?

  3. oh that is a beautiful ring and I loved seeing how you made it! I know it's hard to say goodbye to one of a kind special babies... I am still learning.. hoping that it will get easier.. But at least you know that it is going to live in an awesome country!

  4. It's lovely! I'm sure it will love it's new home in Aus. We are just getting into spring here now so it's just perfect for the season.

  5. Gabby, my trip was great. I will post some pictures. Quebec city is beautiful, like being in Europe!

    Tess, so true, it is going somewhere beautiful! Glad to hear I am not the only one who hates to part with a ooak!

    incalesco, (sorry I don't know your name!) I am jealous that spring is coming! My favorite season!! Enjoy it.


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