Flush Settings

Below is a video and images of a ring I made to practice flush settings with.

Part of the mandatory course work is to do 5 flush settings. I managed to put my 5 attempts into one band. We were given some thick, silver wire to practice with which is what I have used above. I bought some hand stamps a while back and decided to have a little fun and decorate the band with a star embellishment and then set the stones in-between them.

I have used 3 black, 2mm C.Z’s and 2 yellow, 2.5mm C.Z’s for this band.

 

  • I stamped the stars into the metal then created the ring shank.
  • For the 2mm stones, I first drilled through the band with a 1mm drill bit. I found I was having trouble taking the 2mm burr far enough through the metal which ended up being because I needed to go through the band with a slightly larger drill after the first.
  • So I then used a 1.5mm drill bit through the 1mm hole previously drilled and then the 2mm burr had no problems cutting through the metal. (I also applied some oil before burring into the metal).
  • I burred into the band slowly, stopping often to check if the stones girdle (table) was flush/in line with the metal (almost disappearing into the metal). I don’t want the stone sitting above the metal as it cannot be set and if it’s too low it won’t work properly either.
  • Once I’d burred to the correct depth, I placed the stone in the space and gently using my burnishing tool, pushed round the stone. This should press the metal over the stone to secure it in place.flush2

I used the same method with the 2.5mm stones. However, for the drill bit, I used a 2mm drill and then a 2.5mm burr. My lecturer also showed me how to create a ledge to have the stone ‘pop’ into it using a heart burr but I was not brave enough to attempt it. I may give it a go next time though!

Below is the burnishing tool I made to help set the stones using an old drill bit and handle.


RECAP ON HOW TO FLUSH SET STONES

~ 2mm Stone (C.Z)
~ 1mm Drill bit
~ 1.5mm Drill bit
~ 2mm Burr

~ 2.5mm Stone (C.Z)
~ 1.5mm Drill bit
~ 2mm Drill bit
~ 3mm Burr

~ Place stone into the snug fitting which should be sitting with the girdle (table) of the stone almost disappearing under the metal.
~ Use burnishing tool to push the metal round the stone to secure it in place.
~ A Vernier Gauge can also be used to measure the stones and drill bits before use as on occasion, sizes can vary slightly from what they are supposed to be which can affect this setting method.

Stevie

Graded Unit – Boards

The brooch has been named ‘Eldfell’ which is Icelandic for ‘Mountain of Fire’. The main frame was inspired by an Icelandic mountain I photographed on my travels, therefore the name seemed appropriate. I wanted the squares to drape and tower over the frame, an idea which was inspired by the towering lava cliffs in Fuerteventura, overlooking the ocean. The yellow ties in with my overall theme this year, however, it also symbolises ‘Happiness’ and promotes positive energy, which fits well as I wanted the piece to reflect not only the places I visited and was inspired by, but the feelings I also had being in these beautiful, scenic countries. The following boards are an overview of the entire process.

Summary of Research

research board - Stevie

Summary of Development

development board

Summary of Final Design

Eldfell Final Board

Stevie

Graded Unit – Eldfell

After a long design process and a few hick-ups which meant designs needed to be re-visited, I finally got a finished piece! I know my finishing of my pieces definitely needs work and it’s rather frustrating that I have not quite nailed that yet, the design however, I am happy with, despite the set backs.

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  • 2mm Square wire frame.
  • 0.7mm silver sheet used for square forms and support for cast element.
  • Cast element with 3 resin-filled compartments. (I attempted to set a 3mm citrine stone, however, with this being a new stone setting method it unfortunately didn’t go to plan. As I was chiselling out metal to make a ledge for the stone to sit in, the supporting wall which would be used to secure the stone in place kept crumbling away. Very disappointed with this but there is nothing I can do about it now).
  • I mixed a yellow resin paste to my resin mixture and applied this to the 3 compartments and the odd geometric shape with the square forms.
  • I cut little cubes from the 2mm wire and added this to the frame.
  • I used tube which I sliced into to create the decorated rivet effect.

final2

  • Steel wire has been used for the brooch pin.
  • I added a silver wire beam to form the squares over, adding more depth and stability to the piece.
  • I coated the back of the geometric shape and the sheet silver in yellow pigmented resin also, as I wanted to add an element of interest to the back as well as the front.
  • The square forms were given a satin finish using a frosting wheel as I’m not fond of a high shine finish.

Stevie

Sense of Place – Final Pieces

I’d taken inspiration from a ‘Feeling’ of place rather than a physical place itself. I wanted to use that feeling of freedom and escapism and translate that into a piece of jewellery. On my adventures, I discovered that this feeling was at its strongest when by the ocean. My favourite moments of my Fuerteventura holiday were when I was sitting up on the edge of the rocky cliff face overlooking the sea. There was something very peaceful about this followed by this overwhelming feeling of getting lost that I felt inspired to pursue this with my designs. I looked at the contrast between the harsh lava rock formations that towered over a peaceful ocean and began designing from here. I traced shapes from photographs I’d taken of the cliffs, lava rock and patterns I’d found in the waves, ground and other surroundings, finding shapes to begin designing with.

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Although the brief asked for just one final piece, I have created two (and just finishing a third!). Here they are:

Earrings:

These are made with silver and resin.

The first piece is a pair of earrings. I created a fold form of squares with an odd, geometric shape. I covered this shape with a thin layer of resin which I’d given a grey pigment. I used the frosting wheel to give the fold form element some light texture and a matt finish. I used square wire for the stem and for the stud element I used a piece of cast lave rock which I sawed into two parts. I’m overall very pleased with these. I’ve added depth, texture and a pop of colour. They are comfortable to wear but also sit nicely and are just the right length. I still need to work on my square piercing and filing technique, along with folding them so it’s a nice, clean fold with no bending in any other areas. I feel for this piece I did that well.

earrings1

 

Brooch:

Made using silver, resin and steel.

My second piece was quite challenging. I created a geometric frame which I then added an extra piece of wire to for added structure as I wanted to create a towering effect (like the cliff face in Fuerteventura overlooking the ocean). I pierced out my square form and after cleaning up with emery paper and needle files I gave it a satin finish and some light texture using a frosting wheel. I then used the score and fold method to give the piece some dynamic. I mixed resin with a grey pigment and coated the two geometric shapes hiding amongst the squares to add a pop of colour. I riveted this square formed piece to the frame. I used some fine square wire to create a claw setting, holding a piece of cast lava rock into place, which I oxidised with liver of sulphur. I used steel wire for the brooch pin.

 

A third piece is currently being completed.

Stevie.

 

Sense of Place – Finalising

In the last post I talked about the geometric frame ideas I had and the earring concepts I’d been working on. However, I was loving the square fold forms I’d been working with in the previous brief and have tried to incorporate them now into this brief. As much as I love the designs I’ve had earlier, I feel I need something more.

I’ve started to combine both the geometric frames I’ve been playing around with as well as the square forms from previous block. I’ve come up with some brooch designs, using the geometric shapes as a wire frame and filling the frame and adding depth with the layered, fold-formed squares. I was originally going for squares on squares (as seen in left image below). I loved this effect but it was using up far too much silver. I thought about using copper and oxidising it, or reticulate small pieces of silver over it but I wasn’t too impressed with these ideas. I loved the frame idea but when sampling, I thought it was all a bit too flat.

sketch3sketch1

After more designs and contemplation I decided to add a frame to the structure, creating more depth. Looking at the Fuerteventura rock faces overlooking the sea and their textures and forms has really helped here as the forms I’m creating by folding the squares are giving a nice, visual effect and towering over the frame.

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Further development below, (attempting to draw) some 3D frames to give the square forms more height and depth like the cliff face in the pictures above.

sketch2

I’ve been sampling using the shapes I’ve found by tracing over pictures from Fuerteventura and Iceland, creating frames. I’m liking this idea very much and looking at possible materials.

sample2

I’m thinking 1.5mm square wire for the frame and 0.7mm silver sheet for the squares. I’m looking at connecting the two parts using either solder or rivets. Although the clean up with be very difficult if I solder so I am pretty sure rivets will be the route to go down. I’m also considering adding a little resin to add a pop of colour or perhaps a little stone setting. I’d love to add my cast piece of lava rock which I found in Iceland, so will continue finalising ideas. Almost there now!

Stevie

 

Sense of Place – Sketchbook Development

I’m really liking the direction I’m taking with the sketchbook, although still LOADS of ideas I’m trying to get down on paper! Here’s a few shots of sketchbook development. I’ve been doing a little 3D printing relating to my sketchbook work. Seeing the pieces come to life really helps with seeing the potential outcome and what does and doesn’t work. Still lots of work to do! I’m currently looking at potential earring or pendant frames as well as some 3D faceted shapes. Excited to keep pushing these ideas further to see what I come up with. I’ve been using CAD software Rhino to create these pieces, I then saved them as STL files and connected the PC to my 3D printer. (The 3D printer isn’t anything crazy, can’t afford that! However, it does what I need it to; gauge the size of a piece and see what does and doesn’t work and what I can change). The print isn’t clean like with a wax filament (the printer uses PLA), however, with some of the designs, I am able to emery and file them down to a smooth surface. I will attempt to create some rubber moulds and test if this works and the small pieces I can attempt to cast, so long as the pieces can be cleaned up enough. If I find a design I am particularly happy with but doesn’t clean up well enough for either process then I can send the file to shape ways to print.

 

I’ve made some mock up frames by hand. First I used 2mm round copper wire, I put this through the draw plate to make the wire square (I love this machine!). I then used a ruler to mark where I wanted to score the meal to create the desired shape. I used a triangular needle file to manoeuvre the metal into shape and soldered into place. I made a few random designs to test out the process.

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I then went on to test this design with silver square wire, gave the frame a satin finish using the frosting wheel, then continued to fill them with resin which I mixed with a grey pigment. I really liked the larger frame design and was curious to see how this would look as a piece of jewellery and if it would sit well e.t.c. Safe to say I am really happy with the silver sample, the way the earrings sit is how I’d hoped. Need a clean up though and would take more care in making the frame and adding the resin. This was all done by hand and quite tricky getting the pair to exactly match (as I didn’t measure properly with the ruler), so again, would spend more time and care on this process. This is a very early design so looking to progress further but a lovely pair to keep for myself!

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Some sketchbook development work below to show my process and how I’ve gotten to this stage.

Taking inspirational images and tracing shapes from them. Giving them more angles and then manipulating them by layering or cutting in half to generate potential pieces of jewellery. So far I’ve just touched on a few pendant and earring designs, but still a lot more to try out along with potential rings/brooches.

Stevie

Experimental Techniques – Enamelling

Like CAD, enamelling and I have a love hate relationship; I love it but it does not love me! I did a tiny amount of enamelling last year on just a couple of copper squares which I ended up under-firing. They were dark in colour and rough textured. I also made a little ring sample with a domed, copper cup. I sprinkled some enamel powder inside and placed a little enamel cube in the middle also. The enamel melted nicely and the cube almost fully, however, I liked that it had some depth to it rather than the cube being completely melted in with the powder.

Ring sample below. I used purple and turquoise enamel powders and a pink cube.

enamel-2

As for this year I have attempted enamelling again. 6 samples are needed to pass the unit and it seems as though I am going to be here a while until something works as I am now just burning everything. 1 minute, 40 seconds, I am gaining the same, over-fired results. This is disappointing. (You shall not beat me enamel)! Well, I’m sure I’ll get my samples eventually, however, some relationships aren’t meant to be.

Below are my attempts this week; some squares were domed, I then sprinkled a ‘Pale Yellow’ over one and a ‘Violet’ over the larger one. As you can see in the pictures, all have been over-fired. I love the yellow tone but the violet is unfortunately non existent. I think the two colours would compliment each other well, although I’d rather not mix a lot of colour for any of my final pieces, it’s nice to just try out in some sampling.

Using very thin copper that Colin handed out, I cut out a square shape and two random geometric shapes. Colin was also kind enough to let the class try out his corrugated roller machine which works pretty much like a rolling mill. I placed the thin copper between the rollers and used the handle to push the copper through, creating the corrugated effect and distorting the shapes, which I quite like! These were also covered in the same enamel colours (over-fired!). I do love the ‘pop’ in the yellow though.

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My poor cactus was slightly over done also.

Below are the colours I sampled. I used the little sieve to sprinkle on the powders and also did the process over a creased piece of card so that any excess colour could be poured back into the tube it came from before trying out another colour to prevent waste and contamination between colours.

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Well I had a game plan in my mind which unfortunately did not go as I’d hoped and was set back a bit. I shall be more aware of the time the pieces are spending in the kiln. I’m still determined and hoping my next attempt will be much more successful!

Until next time,

Stevie.