Fresh Water Elephant

March 5, 2014

Broken record? You have no idea! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about something but there is a reason behind the dormant state of my blog. To sum it up in a jiff, I’ve been planning a new website for my business and I wanted to incorporate my blog with my new website. Something modern but to the point while showcasing what my company does – providing service for that niche jewelry market that I’m in. I look at this blog post as a precursor letting everyone who stumbles upon it that a few changes for the better are coming in the very near future.

Anyway.

Fresh Water Elephant? What the heck does that mean? I’m glad you asked. It’s a great topic starter for this blog involving some freshwater pearls that I’ve obtained. I don’t consider myself an artist, but for the sake of this particular blog, let’s just say that I am (even though I’ve been caught doodling and animating over the years). When you have this free-form freshwater pearl looking right at you, begging for someone to create something with it, you start to let your imagination wonder a bit. What does this pearl look like? What can I build around this pearl? You start sketching around it. You start Googling different variations of things. Okay, lets go animal kingdom with this odd looking pearl. You start to Google more images. A bird? A frog? An elephant? (as an aside I have done some stuff I’ve done with free-form pearls so keep a look out in the near future when my new website is launched.) So, I went with an elephant. Now we’ve got ourselves an elephant to design around this pearl. What part of the elephant? I know, let’s go and use the pearl as the head, legs and upper torso and I’ll build around that. I can’t CAD the around the elephant. It won’t be possible due to all the natural curves the CAD program won’t capture. So let’s do hand-carved wax. Keep it old school with this elephant. So I wax carved it by hand.

Elephant pearl Wax carving (1) Elephant pearl Wax carving (2)

Elephant pearl Wax carving (3)

Not bad, right? So I wax carved the trunk, the ears, the feet and the tiny, cute, little tail for this tiny elephant. I also decided to give it a traditional cap so I can set some diamonds on top to make it a classy looking elephant. That section between the feet, I didn’t want to leave it empty so I added some sort of grass like bush to authenticate it with its typical surroundings. Now it’s time to carefully remove the wax off of the pearl and send it into casting. I was thinking 18 karat, yellow gold should do the trick.

Elephant pearl pendant 18k YG (5)

Pretty cool I might add. This little guy, who’s a little larger than a quarter, is coming out great!

Elephant pearl pendant 18k YG (6)

That little section which I like to call it’s baseball cap, we pave set some beautiful white diamonds and right underneath it, we bezel set a nice blue sapphire. It looks like a classier circus elephant. If you notice, I’ve marked with a sharpie a black mark with where I’m going to be drilling a tiny hole to give this elephant some sight.

Elephant pearl pendant 18k YG (1)

Elephant pearl pendant 18k YG (2)

Elephant pearl pendant 18k YG (3)

So for the eyes, I cut a tiny ruby cabachon to accent the yellow, white, and blue undertones. I slightly oxidized the little holes and outer lines on the ears and feet to give it a little more depth in color contrast. I also added a hand made bail/jump ring for the chain to run through it.

Elephant¬†Such a killer looking piece. It’s original, it’s mother natures giant beast at it’s best. So why not showcase this little guy with his friends, haha. It may look tacky to some but this pro shot of this elephant is awesome to me. Enjoy the details of this finished 18 karat, free-form freshwater pearl, dressed up as an elephant. I call these sort of pieces, ‘one-of-a-kind’ collector items.

Keep a look out for my brand new website and a more consistent flow of blogs. Cheers!

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!