handforged custom jewelry
hand forged platinum engagement ring
hand forged platinum engagement ring, polished up so brilliantly…
oh I love these rings!
engagement ring and wedding band design collaboration between italian architect bride and me. the groom was well acquainted with my style and had suggested me.
3 oval white diamonds, .33 ct each and two rounds, .08ct each.
john and I delivered this wedding set to the bride and groom in spain for the event itself. while traveling I spied a gucci ring in a strikingly similar fashion, thus I have always suspected this was the inspiration for my italian bride.
I wore the rings over (always wear your jewelry while traveling!) and fell so in love with the set. on it’s own, the wedding band is so simple, yet it has enough presence, enough weight, to hold it’s own. that said, I welded these bezels onto the band so those little babies ain’t going nowhere.
now 17 years old, I would love to see how these platinum rings have weathered time…. this kind of forged platinum always takes on a life of it’s own after years of wear.
a different kind of rolling ring
this is a very different kind of rolling ring design, and one of my all time favorite custom ring creations.
I have always had a penchant for the unusual, and so it seems fitting that so many of my commissions (like this one) start out with…”so many jewellers have turned me away, said they couldn’t make this for me!”
when a prospective client finds me and leads with that story, I almost have to say, “Sure, I’ll give that a go…”
is there a better way to figure something out?
this ring was no exception. she wanted a band that would roll atop another band – ok.
yes, I could forge the yellow gold concave band. no problem. and yes, I could forge a band the would roll atop the gold without coming off.
so far so good
she was set on the metals we would use, however, and here is where I put up a bit of a fight. she was adamant: white gold.
white gold is the most unforgiving, unmalleable, brittle (read, hates to be hammered) metal. I was quite sure there was no way I was going to be able to perfectly form the white gold band over the yellow gold and suggested sterling silver instead.
she insisted and I worked it out — and this ring came out really cool!
the white gold band somehow joined itself and gave me a beautiful simple seam which I soldered and thus joined the bands forever. the rolling aspect is really lovely, and gives the ring a whole new dimension.
I’ve since experimented with this concept in sterling and while its definitely easier, its not quite the same creative satisfaction as meeting an ‘impossible’ client request.
I do love my clients, especially the ones who give me good reason to push my boundaries!
tanzanite ring in platinum & gold
this big huge gorgeous tanzanite ring commission really has it’s own story.
my client took a pilgrimage to tanzania, the land of her ancestors, and purchased this stone. the mines have all since collapsed and many casualties later it is damn near impossible to purchase a genuine, untreated tanzanite of this size anymore.
so no pressure setting this baby.
while tanzanite is relatively hard, measuring 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, it has what gemologists call, “perfect cleavage” in two directions, which makes it dangerous to set by my hammer method.
this is a pretty large hand forged platinum ring, measuring 12mm wide. the tanzanite is set into a hand forged 18k yellow gold bezel. I melted holes in the bezel to allow light to pass under and through the tanzanite thus allowing light to pass through this bluish purple stone, because after all, this tanzanite ring should be all about this stone…
she wanted the finish to be rough. I so love this, but don’t often send out jewellery with this rough texture. you have to want this, though it does, I have to say, wear the most beautifully over time.
when i polish it all to a fine shine first, the scratches from life are what appear first.
when you start out a bit rough, though, the first thing you notice is how life polishes your jewelry, which is all this stone needed from me.
platinum diamond & sapphire rings
bespoke pandora bracelet charm
making this Pandora bracelet charm was a new commission one for me… its really a bead, not a charm in my usual vein.
create a custom pandora style bead for one of my all time favorite clients and his lovely wife at christmas? you know it!
she wears her pandora bracelet all the time and he wanted a “present bead” to add, so… sterling silver gift box with hand forged 18k yellow gold ribbon.
now, I get commissions for “ribbons” all the time, and they are often more time consuming and graceless in the forging than they look in the final wearing. I had absolutely no time at all to make this – I got the call with only two weeks until xmas (all time fav, remember?)
but this little ribbon practically forged itself. maybe it was because 18k yellow gold is such a joy to forge, so malleable, or maybe it was because I knew I had no time to do it over. maybe it was the season. however it got there, it turned out just perfectly in the eyes of both happy clients and one happy jeweller.
marquis diamond ring in platinum
hand forged sterling silver bangles
often I have said that as long as I have my hammer, I will never need therapy. these hand forged sterling silver bangles are proof.
forging them is so primeval for me. solid, yet so malleable, the sterling forms so gently under careful heavy hammer blows. and them comes the task of making the bangles the exact same size, the same thickness (in this case, 4g round, 5mm) with consistent hammer texture throughout the trio of bracelets.
these three forged bangles were a christmas gift, an old client appears after years and orders three bangles for his wife. solid, heavy, a real presence on the wrist. I myself wear multiple bangles…and both my husband and children always say…it is how we know where you are.
bangles are not for everyone, but if they are for you…well you know then.
oh and while we are on topic, I encourage you to allow me to forge your bangle to be as small as possible, just enough to get over your wrist. this way the bangle is comfortable for constant wear. not banging around too much. this is the key to a long and happy relationship with bangle bracelets. I am living proof :)
gold emerald ring
platinum diamond rings
these platinum diamond rings were forged in response to stones that came to me by way of other projects, and gave me reason to try something different with diamonds and that sapphire in the end of the ring on the right.
I’ve always loved infinity style rings, with diamonds spaced evenly all the way around the band. this was before i had made so many infinity concept rings for my clients over the years, so the ring on the left was easy – I had a parcel of 7 lovely little matched diamonds kicking around my bench at the time that probably should have been returned to my dealer. I had some extra plat and a few extra hours.
the ring on the right started with the big white diamond – a one-off on my bench, very sexy, but nothing to go with. I forged out the sort of teardrop end as a setting for the stone and still like it, but it didn’t really take off anywhere in my work.
the sapphire was also an orphan. setting it in the blunt end of the ring is an idea I have played with many times before and since in my hand forged bangles and bracelet, usually with white diamonds and stones that catch more light.
platinum tourmaline ring
this platinum tourmaline ring has always gotten so much attention of all the photos in my portfolio, so here’s the real story of how it came to be.
it is a funny story albeit in the real story, there were a lot of bad words ;)
starting out simply enough, the base is hand forged platinum, approximately 10mm wide. the tourmaline belonged to my client, having just returned from a stone buying spree in India, this was her chosen stone.
the setting was to be a thick 18k yellow bezel, rough texture and “definitely handmade”.
all good until I began to marry the gold and platinum…
platinum has a melting temperature of 3215 fahrenheit, 18ky gold will fuse at 1700. you see my discrepancy?
so what happened is this: I began heating the platinum and got it to where i thought it would be just hot enough to fuse the gold, but alas, the second the gold hit the plat, it melted and came back up onto itself.
hence the hole you see here.
but in our house we have always adhered to the principle, “make a f*** up a feature” in other words, go with it and glorify it. so i melted a few more “light holes” and voila!
it fits perfectly with the design of the ring overall and worked so well I now regularly do this to bring more light to the stones I feature in these heavier rings.
18k gold record spindle charm
Okay, all of you who know what this is…you are dating yourselves :)
My client, bless his heart, didn’t think I knew what he was talking about when he asked me to make him a record spindle…the kind we used to convert a little 45 so that we could play the small vinyl album on our record players. I used to keep my spindles in my jewellery box so as to never lose them. After all, Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” and the b-side “Macarthur Park” by Donna Summer…well suffice it to say, there were times when this music was the only thing to quiet my adolescent soul ;)
I hand forged this to be the size of a quarter…it was a painstaking process and I think I must have scraped it a hundred times over, but finally my hammer skills prevailed and the spindle passed the symmetry test.
Given my mad passion for music (as many of you know, passion is an understatement here), this commission was an honor and one that I hope to someday forge anew.
rolling ring in platinum
when I was sixteen, my parents gave me a cartier rolling ring. I still have that red leather box with the gold embossing and have treasured the ring for over thirty years.
so when one of my all time favorite clients came to me asking for a platinum rolling ring…her new “worry ring”…I was so excited!
this particular client has always been very specific…I love that. she already knew she wanted one band to be hammered, one smooth and brushed with a matte finish and one, forged but polished smooth and shiny.
so this ring being forged in platinum, required some careful pricing before quoting the job. I was going along, pricing out the ring to be a size 8 when my genius of a client emails me saying, don’t forget to account for the intertwining of the bands!
ahhh. well damn, I hadn’t thought this through properly and was about to make a colossal error in pricing!
without boring you with the details of my calculations, it turns out that I must forge the bands two american sizes larger to accommodate for the intertwining. to make a ring that is ultimately a size 8, I must forge the bands to be a size 10.
since then I have forged a few of these rings. the weight of the platinum is perfect, the ring rolls beautifully and hopefully it will become a timeless classic in my collection as well. thank you mr. cartier :)
hand forged platinum wedding set
the simplest hand forged platinum wedding set, and recurring example for new platinum ring commissions ever since.
these particular two rings are identical – as much as any two things I make with a hammer are identical :)
I used to hand stitch these pouches out of recycled leather, but now have gone simpler (and vegan) in my presentation.
I still package wedding and engagement pieces for final delivery with rosemary>
rosemary symbolizes remembrance, fidelity and luck… plus it makes the package smell ever so beautiful when opened
platinum wedding ring set
this is a classic platinum wedding ring set for me.
I have seen these rings many years after the forging and they always, always! have the most unique patinas… life wearing away at your metal. I love to leave the rings full of hammer marks, polished smooth and shiny, but full of depth – a unique feel you can only get with hand forging.
his ring measures 10mm wide and 1.5 mm deep. you could go to 1mm depth, but the 1.5 gives you enough to ensure a lifetime plus some. platinum is an extremely dense metal, however it is also soft. this makes it malleable and just perfect for forging.
her ring measures 4mm wide and features seven 10pt diamonds. I always encourage brides and grooms to attach some significance to the number of stones we set…simple and significant.