New gem-setting tips in action

Gemstones, Jewelry, Jewelry making, Rings, Tools

Today, I built this sterling ring around a gorgeous oval faceted peridot – one of my favorite stones. So brilliant and cheerful! I’m pleased to say I was able to use many of the great techniques and tips I picked up at my first class in gem setting last weekend. I was dying to try them and boy, did they ever work well! After fabricating a stepped bezel on top of a half-round sterling shank, I set this lovely peridot hammering directly onto the top of the bezel. I’ve done this before, but always hammered an implement applied against the filed edge of the bezel. This time, I just used a small, lightweight goldsmith’s hammer to lightly hammer the bezel directly. Works really well – so exciting! I have a garnet version on the go, so stay tuned. Here’s today’s final result:




Facets and photos everywhere

Earrings, Gemstones, Jewelry, Rings

Today, I finished a sterling ring with an absolutely stunning vintage jade gemstone. It’s rectangular, faceted and feels very art deco to me. I set it in a simple bezel on a half-round sterling shank and gave it a somewhat scratchy, roughed-up finish, which I like in contrast to the smooth, milky jade.








I also made a pair of sterling drop earrings with some pretty, faceted aquamarine rondelles – my March birthstone. Can’t seem to escape the Pisces influence these days!








Really enjoying the photography aspect of my jewelry shop. It’s led me to invest in a great macro lens and a newer Canon Rebel – newer than my old original. I really love what the macro lens can do and the two in combo are the best! Have always been a shutterbug, but mostly of people until the past few years. Macro photography is a whole other world! Equally satisfying, I’d say. I’d love to hear what others have to say about this….

Different party personalities

Gemstones, Jewelry, Rings

It’s finally gotten cold in Toronto – cold enough that we actually turned on the furnace yesterday. I guess it’s the cold that’s got me thinking about nesting, being cozy and the upcoming party season. I realize people have all sorts of parties to attend and host, but also that their individual party style varies hugely. With that in mind, I’m setting out to stock my Etsy shop with a nice variety of jewelry picks – something to suit most party personalities out there.

Here are a few examples of what I’ve created so far. First is a very simple, minimalist black faceted onyx ring in sterling silver. I love its simplicity, but the faceted onyx is also somewhat retro, recalling the ’20s and art deco.








Next, I did a really pretty pale green faceted sapphire and sterling ring, which is quite dainty, clean and modern. This little freeform sapphire is at once organic because of its freeform, flowing shape, and also a little formal due to the geometric, rose cut facets. The stone is the palest of greens with a touch of blue on one side. I gave the silver a satin finish – really clean and modern.








The third party ring I made is truly a “cocktail” or “statement” ring. It’s fun, big, colorful and is the life of the party – or for someone who likes to make a splash every day. The amazing stone is a botryoidal (bubble shaped) agate with a brilliant iridescent coating, which gives it its peacock coloring. Because of how spectacular this stone is, I gave it a very simple bezel setting and a sturdy but simple double half-round sterling band. So now I want to know: which one are you???


Mixing it up with mixed metals

Earrings, Jewelry, Jewelry making, Rings

Every so often, where my jewelry’s concerned, I feel like doing something completely different. Going off on a tangent. Breaking loose. Yesterday, I did just that, and decided to mix it up a little with mixing of metals. I started with a brass and sterling pendant project that I riveted instead of soldered for a change. I sawed, hammered, drilled, sanded, hammered some more and polished, then hung the finished product on a delicate sterling cable choker – a current favorite of mine.

Then, I decided to pull out some tiny bits of 14k gold I’ve been saving. First, I soldered a gold bezel cup onto a square sterling silver ring I hand-forged and finished. Then I set a luscious 4mm deep violet amethyst into it. Looks very simple and clean, which I like. A little bit regal at the same time!

Finally, I set two 4mm faceted peridots – a wonderful bright mid-green – points facing out in sterling bezels for a pair of out of the ordinary post earrings. I love the slightly off-kilter look of them. It was a day of awkward jewelry-making with a sprained finger – thanks to my bolting dogs….but that’s another story!

In the mood for sparkles

Gemstones, Jewelry, Jewelry making, Rings

Here’s a gorgeous blue agate druzy I’ve had for some time now. It’s been eyeing me recently, so today was the day! I set it in a fine silver/sterling bezel on a half-round sterling shank and gave the silver a satin finish – a favorite of mine. I love the contrast between the muted finish on the silver and the deep blue, sparkles of the stone. These druzies are so incredible and lots of fun to create pieces with. They definitely make for great cocktail rings, but I think I’d wear them a little more often than that. What do you think?

Work in progress

Jewelry, Jewelry making, Materials, Rings

This yummy freeform specimen of beach glass is now on its way to becoming a ring. I’ve built a sterling and fine silver bezel setting for it. Now just have to add the band, finish it and set the glass! Here’s a before shot of the glass in question, plus an I-hope inspiring shot of the Mediterranean I took off Capri this summer. The color of that water never fails to send me…

In knots

Jewelry, Jewelry making, Rings, Tools

I discovered today that tying a knot in sterling silver wire is not as easy as you might expect. Well, as I expected, at least….Especially the thicker the wire is.

I made this ring for a friend in Cape Cod, using 14 ga. wire and pliers. The challenge was preventing perma-kinks in the wire. Anyway, I’m happy with the final result, once I soldered the back closed, filed, sanded and hammered. Will definitely be trying more of these!