Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Intaglio signet ring

No pictures of the finished fan yet. Primarily because it isn't finished. I've been having some kind of crisis about whether or not I really want to gild it. Whether or not I want to add peacock feathers to the blue ostrich feathers and whether the crystals are a good idea. Maybe I should add pearl drops to hang from the gryphons' claws. (The questions continue but they become silly past this point.)

 Anyway, I've been having design freakouts and had to set it aside for a little while. On the plus side, the way in which I split the top back works absolutely perfectly for inserting the feathers. they just slid right in and I could play around with arranging them really easily. No elaborate pad and paddle with oodles of glue like the other fans I've done. These hold in nicely and yet can be removed if I want to.

On  less crazy note, on to the project I did finish today. The intaglio signet is done. It even works! I cheated and used some new diamond tip carving/engraving bits I just got for my Dremel tool to do the last little bit rather than the hand files I used for most of it. Just zipped through it. Much harder to control though, especially as I have the one speed tool rather than the variable. Upgrading to the variable speed is high on my wish list. I just used the diamond tip to deepen the existing lines a little more to make certain I'd get a good impression for stamping. It took maybe 10 minutes. Which was sort of a let down after the hours I'd spent with the emery slurry and hand files. I like having the new tools though. Especially as I'm going to start on the rosary next and have a bunch of glass pebbles to drill holes through.

Once I was satisfied with the depth of the intaglio I decided to set it. As I don't have the skill or tools to do my own bezel setting (that's on the list with casting for things I want to learn that will take me years to be proficient at) I just put the carved gem on to a ring setting I'd picked up at Joann's. Also sort of anti-climactic, but this is a first attempt and I figure I've got to start somewhere. The jasper is curved on the bottom and I'm not a big fan of glue anyway, so I used plumber's epoxy so I could settle the stone down into something. It was a little too small for the setting and I needed to cover the black of the epoxy, so I pushed some tiny glass pearl beads into the excess putty at the edge. The nifty thing about that is the pearls show up in the impression if the matrix is deep enough and I like the look. The blue, gold, and pearls also coordinate nicely with the other jewelry pieces.