ScrapHappy and April’s Ring a Month

I’m sneakily combining both in this post (I figure you’ve had a surfeit of me at the moment!)

Because the UK has been in semi lockdown since the 24th March, most of the bullion / gemstone / specialist suppliers have closed because non essential workers are furloughed or working from home where possible. The organiser of the RingAMonth challenge, asked us to suggest topics suitable in the current situation, and the theme decided upon was Make Do And Mend. This is a classic motto, stemming from WW2. It seems particularly appropriate for #ScrapHappy too.

As you know, I usually have HEAPS of scrap silver,April2020_MakeDoAndMend but typically, had just posted all my clean scrap off to a bullion refiner, (on the left of the collage) for him to smelt it and roll it into a nice fresh sheet for me. As such, my options were rather limited and I hate to stray from a brief, so I thought I’d see what I could do with the meagre bits I created since the 13th (on the right) when I posted it all off! I’ve used some curves that are left over when I saw out Bat’leth necklaces. I designed the piece through my favourite technique of moving the silver about to come up with a design; I thought that they worked rather well stacked on top of each other, suggestive of mayfly wings.

I then had a look through the gemstones I have, to find something that I thought would work well and opted for a moonstone or a garnet, both of which I’ve reclaimed from orphan earrings or broken jewellery given to me and both of which are imperfect cuts.

April2020_MakeDoAndMend1I ran the silver pieces through Morris the Mill to thin them to a more appropriate thickness and then again with a leaf, to get a vein texture into them, filed and polished the reverse, and sweat soldered* them together Once they were soldered, I did a bit more refining round the edges, and lay the stones on them to choose. The garnet won, so, as I already had a setting prepared (I got into a bit of a rhythm one day, and prepared lots when I was feeling uninspired) I finished that and soldered it to the wings.

Checked the curve, and then because all my wire scrap is away being remade into sheet, I used a small piece of 2mm wire to make a ring. I’ve hammered it, filed a flat bit, and then soldered the bug/mayfly to the top.

It all went for a tumble in Betty the Barrel Polisher for work hardening, and then it was time to file the edges of the bezel and set the stone.

I always wrap any exposed silver in washi tape when doing this – I don’t want to scratch it if my hand slips, and that’s so easy to do – I find this really helps.

Once the stone was set, I did a final measure and took these photos. I really, really like the design. It’s more of a dress ring than an every day one, as it extends a little beyond the finger, so I think I might make more of these as pendants and earrings.

* Sweat soldering is when you melt solder to one piece first – I melted solder to the top one, filed and sanding the solder flat after it cooled, and then heated the two pieces together, so that the pre-melted solder also flowed on to the lower piece

April2020_MakeDoAndMend1 (2)

*edit. I scheduled this post, and forgot to include links to the other ScrapHappy blogs. I hope they forgive me. They are:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn (ie me!)Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny and Kjerstin

About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?!
This entry was posted in Challenge, RingAMonth, Ring a month, RingAMonth2020, ScrapHappy, tutorial, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to ScrapHappy and April’s Ring a Month

  1. katechiconi says:

    Soooooo pretty! It’s a really elegant ring. I’m fascinated by the idea that you can run a leaf through the mill with silver and the vein texture will transfer; I’d have though the leaf would be mashed to pulp. Or am I missing some important point? I wish I had your skills and your workshop. I have all sorts of silver and semi-precious junk I can’t/don’t wear any more, some of which is begging to be repurposed into something I’ll love and use, but I lack the knowledge and know-how.

    Liked by 1 person

    • it’s amazing, isn’t it?! And you can do lots and lots with a simple bit of wire /thread wrapping. If you son’t have any pilers without grips in the teeth, you can wrap the jaws with masking tape to soften them so they won’t mark the metal. I bet you could easily convert some of that jewellery in to interesting necklaces / sun catchers / blind / light pulls etc. Here’s a link that will give you a couple of free months access to classes in Skillshare There is all sorts of stuff there. You can sign up, and then diary date to remove your payment details – I’ve done it a couple of times, but also paid subs for a couple of years for access to a specific tutor.
      https://skl.sh/2XBkjJF

      Like

      • katechiconi says:

        Thank you! I’ll definitely look into it. I’m sure I can order some of the stuff I need online. It’s really just how to get started…

        Liked by 1 person

        • feel free to send me some photos and an idea of what you want to achieve, and I’ll tell you how I’d go about it.

          Like

          • katechiconi says:

            Thank you, I’ll take you up on that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • cool. I might be able to virtually loan you some books too 🙂

              Like

            • katechiconi says:

              That would be interesting! I think what I’ll chiefly need to know is how to improve suitable tools…

              Liked by 1 person

            • mostly you’ll be able to get away with a pair of pliers (preferably the finest jawed, and with smooth jaws – but if not a bit of masking tape round them or if round nosed, then aquarium tubing works well) and some nail clippers / wire cutters, but if you want to get really dramatic then a saw with the finest blade you have if you want to hack at anything, beeswax / candle to lubricate the back of the blade and any drill bits, a hand drill with the finest bit you have – ideally a pin vice type drill, rather than a hefty one. And wire. You’d be surprised how nice the copper wire is inside electrical flexing and there a re a lot of coated and coloured copper wires for jewellery about online.

              Like

            • katechiconi says:

              Wow, comprehensive 🙂 I have a Dremel kit, some fine jeweller’s screwdrivers, fine nose pliers… I don’t have a *gentle* cutting method; the Dremel’s a bit of a beast, so I might need to see if I can locate a teeny weeny hacksaw. I’ve dug out a bracelet set with baroque freshwater pearls in cream and pale green, and a long neck chain I want to combine into one necklace. They’re both silver, Belcher style, but the bracelet links are a little larger. I also like the watch chain link on the bracelet better than the lobster claw style clasp on the chain. Must get my act together and do a bit of measuring. Oh, and clean the dratted silver, which is black!

              Liked by 1 person

            • You might be able to join them by either ‘lashing’ them together in places with wire (fuse wire is a good colour substitute if you can’t find any silver wire, or rethreading with beading cable, and if you don’t have any crimp beads, using a bit of your macrame skills to incorporate the drilled pearls and the chain. If you wanted to silk knot, I’d recommend making the end of a woven silk thread into a needle, by dipping in nailpolish, building up very thin layers (think french polishing) and then snipping the end at an angle

              Liked by 1 person

            • katechiconi says:

              All excellent ideas… And I forgot to mention I also have some long, slender beading needles. It won’t happen tomorrow or even this week, but I now have some confidence that it WILL happen 🙂

              Like

  2. What a beautiful ring! I love the colors and the clever shape. Congratulations on making something so beautiful with so little. alys

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a gorgeous ring. And so much more satisfying to make it from what you already have.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The ring is lovely and such an interesting design process and use of scrap!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tialys says:

    A lovely design and I think it would work really well as earrings too – maybe a cuff type one?

    Like

  6. Joanne S says:

    I think a lot of us are rethinking waste habits. How nice that you are able to adapt and reuse scrap silver to create such a lovely piece. The ring makes me think of a dragonfly. Mayflies are not well liked here, LOL. They bite awful hard in the Spring and Summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. oh, the ring is magical, made for a fairy. Like when you put it on you could just fly away, with never a care in this crazy world. Take care Dawn and keep on making.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan Nixon says:

    That is simply lovely. I like that you made do with, and were inspired by, things you already had to use. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.