Thursday, September 06, 2012

Making of: Custom Carved Engagement Ring with Sapphire

I recently completed a commission for an engagement ring. It was a very intense project, as the client (a friend of mine) was really detail-oriented and we had a tight turnaround. He wanted a carved band with lots of organic detail, a center sapphire, and imagery inspired by Indonesia. I tried to create a motif that would reference an orchid flower as well as a lotus, common images in the woodcarvings and batik prints I looked at for reference.

I designed and made the bulk of this ring while on the road in New Mexico, visiting my dad and his wife and working out of my friend Lauren's amazing studio space. You should definitely check out Meltdown Studios if you are a metalsmith in Albuquerque needing some space to work out of. Lauren has created something pretty special, and I'm super grateful to her for all the support.

I first carved the bulk of the ring design in wax, then had a mold of it made in silicone (in case the casting failed for some reason). Then Lauren helped me cast the design in sterling silver, and I bought the center sapphire and the accent diamonds in what I thought would be nice sizes. Then I carved all the 14k gold accents, they are involved in all of the stone settings. I soldered everything together, then got a bunch of help from my professor Curtis when it came time to set the stone. We decided it looked best set upside-down (with the point of the stone facing up) and happily my client agreed.

I delivered the ring, he liked it, he proposed to his girlfriend in Paris, she said yes, very happy endings all around.

From design through to finished state, this is how it went down. Now I just need a photo from their wedding. :)

I have video of the client (my friend) receiving the ring and looking at it for the very first time. He asked me to film the moment. We were in an alleyway in San Francisco and Rico was waiting in the car on a conference call. It's pretty priceless, I'll try to share it at some point.


laundrygirl said...

Oh my goodness! It's so beautiful! That's pretty incredible to go from an idea in your mind to seeing it come into being!

Johnson said...

Its really very beautiful. All the rings are very nice. Thanks for this having the great collection of Custom Engagement Rings.

Stacie said...

Wow!! What an amazing story and what a beautiful ring!!! love this!!

silver wedding rings said...

However you envision your perfect engagement ring, is the one here.

Kimmy Barnes said...

Woah. It was indeed a very detailed process, and as a result of that hard work, the ring looks very special and elegant! It is certainly worthy to be worn on a special occasion in a woman’s life. :) Kudos!

Kimmy  Barnes

Engagement rings said...

Wow! This is truly a little piece of art! Congrats to the author!

Ali la Loca said...

Thank you so much. This piece was really a turning point in my artistic practice, a big leap forward. :)