Simma Chester practices many art forms, but jewelrymaking is what she enjoys most. Here she explains the steps for making this textured sterling silver and floating stone ring.
Project by Simma Chester of Novato, Calif.
Materials and Tools:
22-gauge sterling silver sheet
easy and medium solder
"pickle" (metal cleaning chemical)
1. Choose metal for band (gauge/thickness, ring size, etc.). Prepare the metal by sawing, filing, and sanding.
2. Add design to the band using stamps and hammer or a rolling mill.
3. Curve and join ends to prepare for soldering closed. Solder band closed and put into pickle (cleaning chemical). Extract from pickle and clean.
4. Hammer on ring mandrel to get ring shape.
5. Make bezel for bottom stone. Solder in place and add to pickle for cleaning.
6. Solder backs (seats) to bezel by soldering and pickle. Solder bottom seat to ring and pickle. Solder pin onto bottom seat (to hold top stone).
7. Drill top stone seat to accommodate pin from bottom seat. The rivet must be snug.
8. Put the finished piece into a tumbler machine to polish (before setting stones).
9. Extract from tumbler, dry, and set stones. First set the bottom stone and then rivet the top seat before setting the top stone.
10. Patina the piece to give an antique finish.