Candy Wrapped

July 15, 2011

I’ve been lagging as of late from my last post so I do apologize. But behind the scenes I’ve been compiling a list of projects I can blog about so I can bang them out on a weekly basis. On that note, I had a friend drop by my office the other day with a crazy idea. She wanted me to supply a pearl that has been unwrapped and make a silver ring out of it. I was like ‘what the hell are you talking about???’ So she goes into her purse and pulls out this drawing of her idea.

After looking at this picture for like a minute with the biggest puzzled look on my face, I asked her to explain herself. She told me she wanted a pearl ‘candy wrapped’. Still didn’t make sense. I said, ‘paint the picture for me’. She went on to tell me that ‘you know how when you open an oyster up and a pearl sits in the middle? Well, what if you can unwrap a candy wrapper and it presents to you a pearl like an oyster does?’ Really, hippie woman? I asked her to draw it for me right there on the spot. Picasso would love this abstract piece of art.

After looking at this, I told her that I’ll work on something. I get the concept but to put it into 3 dimensions without making it look bad was the part that I was having a hard time with. I pulled out an oval shaped pearl, went downstairs to the liquor store and bought myself a butterscotch candy. I unwrapped it, removed the candy from the wrapper, and sent it straight into my mouth. I put the pearl into the candy wrapper and twisted it shut. The unveiling I was about to perform was about to put the picture into reality. I unwrapped the candy wrapper and that pearl looked right back at me. I’ve finally figured out how to CAD design this ring and complete it.

It looks cool right? This is a top view of the pearl ring.

I gave it a split shank look with a stem like support on the edge of the wrappers.

Here’s the silver/white gold look. Night and day difference from the my friends drawing.

Here you got the yellow, white and rose gold looks.

I sent the CAD file to my solid scape machine and started to grow the wax. Are you wondering how the pearl is going to sit? I’m glad you asked as always. I drilled two holes where pins on both sides of the mounting holds the pearl in. After wax is done growing, I send it for silver casting. I receive it back from casting and set the stone polish and finish the ring. I present to you the ‘Candy Wrapped Pearl”…

Here’s a top view. My cellphone camera takes better pictures then my 8 year old camera. Horrible, I know.

Here’s a more clear image from a top view. It looks great!

Here’s another angle.

Here’s another side view shot of the ‘Candy wrapper pearl’ ring.

Here’s the bottom of the ring. Keep in mind my friend was on a budget and wanted something simple and this came out to be on budget and for everyday use. It’s an awesome ring for any outing.

I delivered the ring to my friend and she absolutely loved the way it came out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a picture of the excitement on her face.

But she did allow me to take a photo of her hand with the ring on it.

Keep in mind, me being a gem cutter, I can cut you any stone to fit into the candy wrapped design. Whether it be rose cut all around a black onyx or some nice dark Amethyst from Uruguay. Name it and I can sculpt away. Yes, I do special orders if you haven’t noticed. I’ll be featuring some more later on.

Next week, I’ll be featuring some crazy Turquoise carving I did for a customer of mine. Till next time…

Actually, I wanted to give a nice shout out to the US Women’s National team because what they pulled off in the 122min into extra time against Brazil was something out of Hollywood. I was in awe. Good luck to them as they try to capture a 3rd World Cup against Japan. Ok, now I’m done. Cheers!

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So what is this? 3 blogs in a week? I have 20 images and a video to show off a ‘step by step’ process of a ring I made. It’s a weird design a customer drew for me on a napkin which I perfected, tweaked to his liking, and eventually came up with this design below.

But what the hell is onyx? It’s a Chalcedony Quartz gemstone that is mined right here in my home state of California, India, Brazil, and Uruguay. The name is derived from Greek legend which tells the story of Eros who used to clip his fingernails all over the floor without proper disposal (Talk about a slob). Because no part of a heavenly body can die, the gods turned the fingernail clippings into stone which later became known as onyx. And as final fun fact of the onyx, the stones are  given out on the 7th and 10th wedding anniversaries and is considered one of the birthstone of December.

Now back to my ring.

It has a curve to it that any man can appreciate… He wanted it in Rose Gold with a tube like shape. It almost reminds me of one of those crazy pipe organs you used to see in old school movies or at church. He wanted a piece of onyx cut to fit in that middle slot, flush with the tubes and curves with a high polished finish.

Here’s another angle from the side

For those who are not in the industry and are wondering what these holes are that are on top of this ring, the holes are indicators for future setting. For example, this ring was given to my diamond setter who mapped out where he was going to place the diamonds with pre-drilled holes for a pave setting finish. What is pave? Here’s a link and free plug to this random website.

So I begin my search to find a thick enough onyx to put through my saw and cut a nice proportioned piece.

I eventually cut the onyx. I have to take into consideration that the ring is curved from the top and it needs to mimic the curvature

I put the tape on there as a guide while I am cutting the onyx out of its rough form. A little tip that works great!

Notice the bottom of this onyx and how I curved it out and shaped it out so it sits smoothly on the ring. I used a hand drill with various diamond drill bits to get the nice fit I wanted.

I take the onyx to my machine and grind it down.

Notice the round curvature on the onyx. This has turned into what I didn’t want my blogs to ever turn out as. A step by step, boring instructional video. There’s always an exception to the rule I guess.

This picture shows that I’m about to get this onyx down level with the top of the rose gold ring.

The video shows you how this process of grinding the onyx down was done. It’s a 30sec video. Go watch it and enlighten yourself with the process that goes into stuff like this.

I eventually took this onyx and used my hand drill and pre-formed it. I gave it that matching look of the gold work on the ring which ended up with this rounded tube look.

I should really use a moisturizer. My hands look dry, haha. From this angle you can finally see the piece come to life as it amalgamates (comes together as a structure) with the ring itself.

I glued the onyx piece to my dopping stick to give me that controlled movement when I start to lap the onyx and give it that high polished shine to it.

I started the lapping process and as you can see how the surface is smoothing out.

and here’s your high polished finished look!

This is the part where I part with the ring and let my diamond setter have fun setting some pave set diamonds into ring.

After the diamonds were set and the ring was polished, I glued the onyx into the ring, let it sit for 3-4 hours and we have ourselves a happy customer.

G VS1’s all around.. way to make her eyes sparkle buddy!

I am officially done blogging for the week. 3 blogs in a 7 day span? The next blog should be available on June 24th, 2011. I am covering a Los Angeles based jewelry designer that has been rocking the fashion jewelry world – Lena Wald. I’ll be featuring some of the rings I make for her. Here’s a little preview of what a Lena Wald ring looks like… Till next time…

‘Cigar band’ faceted onyx ring with a silver lining by Lena Wald