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StevesStones
16-04-2015, 01:30 PM
I'm planning on designing some sort of jewellery. I don't even know if 'jewellery' is the correct term for what I have in mind, but the technical stone-setting part will certainly apply.

I really like designing 3D shapes that are designed as flat sheets then folded up into organic shapes a bit like metal origami. I also like the steampunk/industrial style and nature's wonderful creatures. As I collect gemstones, I thought I would try to put all these themes together and create something a bit unique. It doesn't really matter to me if it sells or not, I just want to try it out.

I had a few thoughts a couple years ago, but I'm now looking to firm up a few ideas and look a bit wider for inspiration. I've been saving up a few small gemstones for this project, as it's been on my mind for a while, and (hopefully) below you can see what I have collected:
7648

They are all Asian sapphires (Kashmiri, Taiwanese, Sri-Lankan), except for the Pakistani Peridot top right. These are not something I would normally collect as they are way too small (about 2mm), but the collector part in me made sure they are good stones VVS or better.

Dennis has pointed out in another thread that flush setting may be the best way to go, both for a complete novice and as a general way to set stones. By looking at the video he showed me, it certainly looks like something I could do. However, I'm open to any other options for a novice.

I'll have to think about materials and thicknesses, but I won't have to worry too much about exposing the culets as they will all be facing inside the structure and not be next to skin or clothing. As far as I can make out, all I'll have to worry about is making sure it's thick enough to hold the girdle firmly.

I'll be frank, I know nothing about jewellery, I don't even own a watch! If anyone can point me towards anything like this that has been done before I would be very grateful.

Steve

Dennis
16-04-2015, 04:26 PM
Well stones can be set with beads, claws or in tubes too. Even tapered holes and glue will work for stones with reflective backs, sometimes called mirror backs.

I am more concerned with your ambition to create origami forms. Most of the acute angles required cannot be scored and bent without very painstaking metal work, unless you are only using foil, as with my birds below.

My assay at origami with thicker sheet was done by cutting and soldering to simulate folded metal. Dennis.

StevesStones
16-04-2015, 04:49 PM
Thanks Dennis, nice birds.

My folds won't be quite so severe as that. Mostly they will be around 60-120 degrees or so. I'm planning to either photo or chemically etch the shapes and fold lines so they will be easier to achieve and have sharper corners.

While it's been slow at work today I've been researching inspiration. I know you don't like links on this forum, so if you search Google for 'Elizabeth Goluch', 'Lucian Gaillard', 'Insect Lab' and 'Justin Gershenson-Gates' you'll get an idea of what I'm looking at. Although just this small sample proves that this niche market may already be saturated, so I may look elsewhere for something just for me.

Dennis
16-04-2015, 05:07 PM
I know you don't like links on this forum.

All together now folks: OH YES WE DO!:)))

ps_bond
16-04-2015, 05:10 PM
I know you don't like links on this forum...

Per Dennis' comment - we do, what we don't like is spammers trying to sell us junk. So, the system is set to disallow links being posted until a new user has a certain number of posts under their belt - you're well past the limit now :)

Just seen some carved sycamore seeds that Google has thrown as being by Lucien Gaillard which I rather like.

StevesStones
16-04-2015, 06:15 PM
Ha! OK, I'll try post a few to see if I'm moderated back to my hole...

http://www.elizabethgoluch.com
(click on 'portfolio')

http://www.kellymccallum.com/gallery-1/

https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/lucien-gaillard

http://www.amechanicalmind.com/

A few I found this afternoon. Although, I may find another subject to concentrate on. Insects appear to be well covered.

Steve

Dennis
16-04-2015, 08:20 PM
Fabulous links, thank you Steve

StevesStones
17-04-2015, 05:36 PM
You're welcome Dennis!

I'm working on a germ of an idea inspired by Jewel Beetles. They won't be too similar to the Steampunk creatures, instead I will create the beetles from a metal framework and set small stones in the wing cases and maybe one of my big stones inside the body. If I can work out a reliable method I will also enable the wing cases to open up, revealing a large stone of some sort. Here's my inspiration:
76597660

Tabby66
17-04-2015, 06:58 PM
WOW......looking forwards to seeing how you get on with this Steve :)

StevesStones
18-04-2015, 01:01 PM
Thanks Jill, I made a start last night, but still plenty of planning to do!
Steve

StevesStones
20-04-2015, 01:34 PM
While I'm scoffing my sandwiches, a couple questions, if I may?

How do you polish metals? I'm guessing it's more complicated than a spot of Brasso on a rag? I'm thinking copper, brass and nickel-silver. I'm also guessing I'll need some sort of machine to do it – maybe one of those Minicraft tools with a buffer?

Also, if I wanted to enamel some parts of my 'jewellery' could I used cold enamel – is it as durable as fired enamel?

I'm probably going to have quite a few newbie questions over the next few weeks, so please bare with me!

Thanks, Steve

Dennis
20-04-2015, 02:02 PM
full answers to these questions would be huge, Steve.

Firstly, how large are the pieces you wish to polish and what level of finish are you aiming for? Is it those bugs you have been showing?

Cold enamels are just resins and true enamels are glass. There is obviously a difference in durability, but also in intensity of colour. Dennis

StevesStones
20-04-2015, 06:27 PM
Hello Dennis, thanks as always.

While I'm working on some quite difficult 3D shapes for my beetle, I've been thinking of something much simpler and flat. I absolutely love the moth pendant by Gaillard:
7665
I'd like to update it and make it mine, rather than a straight copy, so I'm thinking of using different metals (brass and copper) for the colour variations of the wings, secured to a nickel-silver frame. Thickness of the metals will be quite thin, but I'd like them very polished so they play with as much light as the gemstones I'll be setting in them.

As well as gemstones and the polished surfaces, I'd like to fill some designed holes or dips with enamel. I have no idea how I would achieve that. I would make these in the nickel-silver part so the yellow metals don't affect the enamel colour.

Hopefully this week I'll be able to finish a drawing and pinpoint the areas to highlight.

Steve

Tabby66
20-04-2015, 08:42 PM
Hi Steve,
If you want a high polish, you are likely to find a bench polisher your best bet. Probably with 6" mops, the polish will depend on the metal you are using it on and to doe degree personal preference.

In terms of enamel, cold enamels have no where near the durability or perceived value of fired (glass enamels).

Just as an aside, are you making jewellery pieces which will be sold within the EU?.....just wondering about nickel directives?? Maybe worth checking out!!

Jill

Dennis
20-04-2015, 08:53 PM
Well Steve,
It does seem as if you are going to take this up long term, so the first thing is to settle on some sort of motor. In my view, those Dremel and similar ones are a total waste of money, as they dont have enough speed control and are clumsy to hold and die quite quickly.

The low cost option is a micromotor from China, which ends up costing you about 100 when imported.http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewelry-Micromotor-Polisher-Handpiece-Polishing/dp/B00M3Z5VJ0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429561713&sr=8-2&keywords=micromotor

An alternative is a pendant motor, such as the Foredom. http://www.suttontools.co.uk/power-tools/pendant-motors/foredom-sr-series-pendant-motor-complete-kit.html

Once you have a motor, all the polishing you need for your items would be a set of radial brushes- no compound, no mess. But you would need to keep a set for each metal. http://www.cooksongold.com/category_select.jsp?query=Radial+disks.

I have always avoided enameling for fear that once started it would consume my life. Dennis.

StevesStones
20-04-2015, 09:42 PM
Thanks both, there's quite a lot to think about there.

I had no idea nickel had a directive! I'll check that out, thanks Jill.

I was thinking more of polishing the finished product once complete. I plan to use several metals together, so would I have to polish each type separately? That would be quite tricky.

Steve

Dennis
21-04-2015, 12:20 AM
I'm not that sure Steve, but if it transfers hard to shift residues between metals, you'd have to use mops and brushes with Menzerna say, which is relatively clean.

I havent tried a number of base metals together like that so unfortunately we all have to do tests for new pieces. However your problems would go away if you used sterling silver, for very little extra cost.

enigma
21-04-2015, 09:36 AM
Ive polished brass, copper and silver together using Lux silver/gold products and that works out ok.
Also silver and gold together.
As well as the cold enamels ( which are really resin) there is also a range that can be heated in a normal oven- I haven't used them but Lydia has a video on cooksons showing how they work if I remember right.

Tabby66
21-04-2015, 07:33 PM
I've polished silver & gold and silver & bronze and silver & copper together with tripoli/rouge and the luxi polishes and silver and gold together with menzerna....all with no problem.

Actually, I tend to keep mops to certain polishes rather than certain metals......not sure what others do??

Wallace
21-04-2015, 07:42 PM
I still have that foredom multispeed with a cowl still available

I tend to keep my mops to certain polishes too Jill. I use GetiPol for all my finishes and pre-polish with Luxor

Patstone
22-04-2015, 06:38 AM
I very rarely use polish of any sort, sometimes I hand polish if something looks really dull, but all my stuff goes in the tumbler with lots of soap and they come out sparkling.

StevesStones
22-04-2015, 08:39 AM
There certainly seems to be a lot of options. What I think I'll do is make something, show you all and ask for help when you can see specifically what the problems may be – if any. But thanks so much all for the input.
Steve

Gemsetterchris
22-04-2015, 09:40 AM
You might want to make your thing in bits & put together lastly, sometimes setting stones in an awkward completed job can be trouble ..

Goldsmith
22-04-2015, 10:21 AM
I agree with what Chris says, I have always made my insects, birds and flowers in pieces and assembled the finished article after the pieces have been enamelled, set with stones and polished.
Not sure if you have seen my work Steve.

767576767677

James

theresa
22-04-2015, 11:13 AM
Wow and double wow James! Your work is amazing.
I especially love the dragonfly.

Goldsmith
22-04-2015, 11:35 AM
Theresa, here is another pic of the dragonly paperweight.

7678

James

StevesStones
22-04-2015, 12:53 PM
Blimey! That is beautiful work. I love that they're scenes too, not just pieces. I'd love to see bigger pictures, particularly of the animals, and especially of the butterfly, and a really good step-by-step explanation of how you made everything and enamelled that hummingbird.

Thanks very much for posting that.
Steve

Gemsetterchris
22-04-2015, 01:33 PM
You don't ask for much do you.
James..you half half an hour :D

StevesStones
22-04-2015, 01:47 PM
Haha! Sorry, take your time!

StevesStones
22-04-2015, 01:49 PM
Have you done it yet?

Goldsmith
22-04-2015, 01:54 PM
This is a butterfly description pic that I prepared a while back for someone else.

7679

James

StevesStones
22-04-2015, 02:55 PM
That's lovely, and clever too. The enamelling is exactly what I was thinking of, but not to as great an extent as you've done it, but what you've done works really really well. Very impressed by that! Thanks.
Steve

enigma
22-04-2015, 03:20 PM
Oh my goodness! Those are fantastic James! absolutely exquisite.

Goldsmith
22-04-2015, 03:20 PM
That's lovely, and clever too. The enamelling is exactly what I was thinking of, but not to as great an extent as you've done it, but what you've done works really really well. Very impressed by that! Thanks.
Steve

If you are interested Steve, check out my profile and look at the album of some of my work and you can see some more of my butterflies. (click on the blue Goldsmith to go there)

enigma
22-04-2015, 03:23 PM
James, just wondering what enamels you used?
And was the mouse carved or cast?
I don't think Ive ever seen such beautiful pieces!

Goldsmith
22-04-2015, 03:32 PM
James, just wondering what enamels you used?
And was the mouse carved or cast?
I don't think Ive ever seen such beautiful pieces!

Sarah, the mouse was a hollow 18ct. casting, the enamels are either Blythe or Schauer enamels.

enigma
22-04-2015, 04:34 PM
Thanks James!

StevesStones
22-04-2015, 07:25 PM
If you are interested Steve, check out my profile and look at the album of some of my work and you can see some more of my butterflies. (click on the blue Goldsmith to go there)

Wow. Really, really stunning. I'm amazed at your craftsmanship, honestly. I've got to gather my thoughts for a while, but one question jumps out at me – how did you keep the enamel powder in a hole to fire it? I'm thinking of the butterfly wings in particular.

It's going to take me a while to go through your pictures in detail. Very nice.

Steve

Goldsmith
23-04-2015, 07:00 AM
Wow. Really, really stunning. I'm amazed at your craftsmanship, honestly. I've got to gather my thoughts for a while, but one question jumps out at me how did you keep the enamel powder in a hole to fire it? I'm thinking of the butterfly wings in particular.

It's going to take me a while to go through your pictures in detail. Very nice.

Steve

Steve the butterfly wings are plique a-jour enamelled. There are a few methods of doing this enamelling process, most methods involve using a backing to hold the enamel in place when firing, some enamellers use mica, some use copper and some use platinum. Using platinum foil as a backing is one of the best methods because enamels will not adhere to platinum so you do not have to use acids to clean up the piece after enamelling, like you have to do when using copper as a backing. Check out the Guild of enamellers FB pages; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guild-of-Enamellers/119453861450309 , it's a great group for beginners to get enamelling info. Or check out their website; http://www.guildofenamellers.org/

James

StevesStones
23-04-2015, 11:05 AM
Thanks James, much appreciated.
Steve