Back to jewellery this week 🙂
And only minimally scrappy, but I wanted to share this lovely project I was commissioned to undertake a few months ago.
In a wonderfully sentimental and budget conscious make, Grandad’s old signet ring was repurposed as part of a pre wedding workshop where the bride and groom made their rings, back in 2019, and there was a little of the 9karat gold being left over. The wedding had been due during 2020, but had to be postponed and eventually took place in July 2021
The bride to be had 6 bridesmaids planned and ordered some beaten sterling bangles from me as gifts for them. During our conversation about the finish and weights of these, she mentioned she’d got bits of the signet ring left over from making her wedding ring and asked if I’d be able to do anything of interest with the leftover bits of gold, and in an aside said she’d got a necklace of her Nana’s that needed mending.
I replaced the clasp on the necklace, which left me with a broken bolt ring and worn out jumpring, both appearing to be gold. This brought the total gold up to 4.3grams
I removed the (rusty!) spring within the bolt ring, and set it in the little box with the bits of signet ring. During this time I was able to let my customer know just how much gold there was, and mocked up what I had in mind in silver. Now, gold is heavier than silver, so it wouldn’t be able to stretch as far as 4.3g of silver, but there was still plenty to do what she wanted.
I sawed all the offcuts into 0.4 and 0.5gram pieces, except the part that contained solder, which I divided into two.
Then I melted every offcut into a small ball
Annealing and rolling them through Morris-the-Mill, so that I’d be able to ensure they got to the same shape with more annealing and hammering and we are left with 11 discs, mostly all the same size, but a pair of smaller ones that contained the seam of the signet, so these are slightly different in colour, a pair of larger ones and one other one that is a slightly different colour because that was just the bolt ring and jumpring from the necklace.
Initially the plan had been to solder one ball, slightly flattened onto each bangle, but – as is often the case – as the jewellery was made, and the progress photos sent to my customer, the idea was refined, and instead became a small charm to add to each bangle, with the bride having the two large balls and Nana’s hanging as a triplet and stamped with the initials of the bride and groom, with a heart on the differently coloured one
The two small balls were destined as a another gift for another granddaughter, so I made them into features on a pair of simple circle studs, slightly offset to add interest.
It’s a very simple use of something that was chock full of sentimental value. It would have been more economical to buy in fresh gold, and send off the old for refining, but this has far more meaning.
One of my favourite projects of the past year, I loved every part of the process (even when one of the balls pinged across my workshop and I lost an hour hunting it down!)
ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page, or leave a comment on her blog. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of them know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link.
Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).
Kate , Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, Hayley, Dawn (me!),
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose