a love affair with my hammer

dana ring

total love affair with my hammer today and this piece of platinum (shown below). forging an ingot formed from a wedding ring and an engagement ring (diamonds removed of course). so satisfying to see the rings so separate, completely fused, and rolled and forged into a band. i love transformation. at whatever pace, it never ceases to inspire.

on the left, you see the platinum rings I started with. on the right, the platinum ingot and hammer in the studio today, and at the top of the this post, you see the final product…I just love this ring!!!

distracted by gold & platinum

yesterday was ash wednesday.

for me it was smoke wednesday.
absolutelypositivelyhorrible smoke from oven cleaning with chicken still within– I swear I had taken the chicken (made for animals in a.m) out of the stove…. well, I hadn’t.

I was so preoccupied thinking about this new platinum and gold pendant that I am creating for a really wonderful loyal client that I guess I wasn’t thinking about the logistics of oven cleaning. this photo shows the platinum which I had been forging round that morning, the bits of gold (to be milled into wire for wrapping around the plat) and the platinum bezel which I also formed that morning.

platinum and gold in progress on the bench

once again, I promised to work gold over platinum and once again, I broke my promise, never to attempt this again! but here I am, with the same wonderful client, promising to make him what has been milling about in his head… a gift to present to his wife when she gives birth to their first child. this is the engagement ring that I created for him to propose to her with, quite a few years ago.)

so i stand here and thank all the gods that we are all so healthy and strong and able to have withstood all that smoke.
all 9 of us :) I believe that because my animals all eat so well, they weren’t really bothered.

truth be told, I’ve never used an oven’s self cleaner function, so left the house with kids for four hours just to be safe.
returned to lots of super nasty smoke. super mega nasty horrible chemical smelling smoke.

I sprayed vinegar everywhere, had kids and animals outside… left the next afternoon and ozonation has begun to get rid of the smell without chemicals– hope it works!

and this morning, I awoke with a stye on my lower eyelids. been tearing from the smoke, and by this afternoon, it was really painful, felt like a pebble/eyelash in my eye.

googled, read, & finally trieda little baby shampoo on q-tip, swab stye, and it was all gone in seconds!!!

baby shampoo, wouldn’t put it on my babies, but so thankful for that suggestion, (who would’ve thunk?!?) so I thought it worthy to share.

some new (really useful!) witchy wisdom from a slightly shaken smith who is really aching to get back to that ingot of platinum on her bench……

I don’t make resolutions, however….

oh so many blog posts have come and gone through my head since ringing in this silvery new year.

I don’t make resolutions, however I did gently suggest to myself that I would blog frequently. this, I know, is the best way to reach out to all of you with coolfunkysexyunique style… the way to connect with those of you excited and inspired by platinum gold silver bronze, steel, rough, raw diamonds, one of a kind precious gems. jewellery with an organic story…

platinum engagement ring remodelworking on some really funky pieces right now. a chunky sterling puzzle piece pendant, and a rockin’ engagement ring rehab, a marquis diamond engagement ring, reset in a chunky platinum band (her present to herself). here’s a pic of the princess rock n’ roll diamond rehab ring on its way at the bench.

platinum sagittarius zodiac pendant

platinum sagittarius zodiac pendant

here is a photo of the first platinum zodiac pendant, fresh off the jewellery bench! oh how I love to forge in platinum. those of you who regularly read my blog have often heard me wax poetic about the joys of forging in platinum… and here I go again! so malleable, so durable, doesn’t require any solder (read, no discoloration whatsoever!) platinum welds to itself thus creating a completely pure piece of seriously valuable jewellery. the texture is buttery soft, and the depth of color is not to be rivaled.

the sun has only just entered scorpio, but sagittarius is just around the corner and the holidays are hot on the archer’s heels!

and here in redding, connecticut, we have 17.5 inches of the mushy white stuff. most of the state is still without power, however, we have just been restored to toasty warmth, thank you!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone. please, keep your four legged children safe inside!

diamond platinum wedding ring duo

diamond and platinum engagement/wedding ring set

platinum and diamonds at their sensuous best

so loved forging this platinum wedding ring duo… and damn if the finish didn’t reflect that right back at me.

pretty sparkly, conflict free diamonds, set a wee bit off kilter. there have been many variations of this ring forged and all with unique success.

and finally, this ring set has a bit of a dramatic story attached…

alas, discretion, being the better part of valor, i am not permitted to share

platinum diamond wedding rings

another one of my favorite sets.
forged platinum wedding band with flush set smoky blue diamonds alternating with white diamonds. the blue diamonds are so unique, almost grey. she came to me years later to design her anniversary band. at this point she was fully bedecked with my forged bracelets and wanted to continue the theme…so the matching forged platinum anniversary band, studded with flush set diamonds, was a perfect compliment.

platinum rolling rings

i made this ring and then called my client and told her that unfortunately i was headed to tahiti with her ring…never to return, so sorry…

handforged platinum rolling rings

seriously, i did not run off with her rolling ring, but i did dig mine out of my old jewelry box. i have an original cartier tri gold rolling ring, a gift from my parents when i turned 16, and i forged a sterling rolling ring years ago. funky rings to create as i have to make the bands a full two sizes larger than the final band–

this ring is seriously soothing. she came to me with her design, one band hammered, one brushed matte finish, and one perfectly shiny. the intention being a ring for her to roll on her finger, calming, soothing, healing.

we all need this ring :)

forged platinum diamond anniversary band

platinum ringusing the metal from her mother’s original engagement band, i just finished working on a forged platinum diamond anniversary band for a woman who is celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary.

reusing materials allows you to continue cherishing them instead of hiding them in the back of your drawer. her mother gave theresa the platinum ring and setting from her original engagement band, 50 plus years ago.

the notion of marrying the platinum from her parent’s 50 plus marriage and the platinum her husband purchased to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, forging them together, creating a heavy platinum band that will endure the ages, so sexy, yes?

her mum also had two little diamond stud earrings. theresa’s husband purchased three diamonds, one each for their son, daughter and himself.

these five diamonds, set deep into the band
will wear with theresa forever.
mark my words, a good solid hand forged band.

setting the diamonds deep allows for the platinum to be pounded
ground and worn, keeping the diamonds safely inset.
theresa gardens and we aspire to a shared apiary….bees,
a little rough on her hands, she is.

twenty years.

that is beautiful in these times.
and so is the notion of recycling, especially when your material is…
platinum, gold and silver.

so about that old ring, hanging about in an old jewelry box,
the earring that lost it’s mate, the chain that broke:

let’s melt that baby down and morph your metal into
something beautiful, something special
that will live out in the light,
rather than in that old box, somewhere behind your socks…

platinum wedding rings

platinum wedding bands

platinum wedding rings

her engagement ring is her wedding ring, she was specific, one ring to wed.

the bands, forged to exact proportions, were commissioned by an architect, with an impeccable eye for design.

ring is a lesson to the wise. when your jeweler says, it needs to be a wee bit more snug, do not argue.

this groom flung his ring into the berm aside the cliff overlooking the pacific, on his wedding night, rocking out on the dance floor. he found his platinum wedding ring 4 months later, by thrusting his hand into a snake hole on the cliff’s edge. didn’t even need polishing.

how the universe sent love…

this message awaited me on this cold (49 degrees!), dark, rainy monday morning and it brought such a smile and warmth to my day.

doug placed an order with the special pricing i offered my newsletter subscribers last week and for some technical reason, his order did not reflect the 21% discount. naturally i had sent him an email over the weekend, remedying the situation.

this morning, he wrote back!

“Thank you so much, Heather.

This is more than generous…. It is so refreshing to deal with someone personally… your quick response was gratifying and much appreciated.

The piece was well worth full price and I was certainly not going to cancel the order… your artistry obviously extends beyond design and includes just plain sincere caring for customers (and I would guess, people in general)…

Thanks… I look forward to my next order…”

yes, i am patting myself on the back, but it was an intense weekend and to be honest, i am not quite ready for it to be so cold, so a pat on the back feels pretty cozy right about now.

stay warm (and to all my californians, i don’t wanna hear it)


large sterling silver peace sign

platinum wedding band, 18k yellow gold miracle accent

do not try this at home….unless of course you absolutely love stressing about really expensive precious metals…melting and contaminating each other… ruthless.

this platinum wedding band with 18k yellow gold was the final piece in a client’s wedding ensemble.  i had already created her engagement ring and her wedding band.

and while forging his wedding band, was finishing a handmade chain with all the colors of 18k gold and diamonds in platinum.

so this ring was not the thing to, mess up, shall we say….

apparently, i did not think this all through when kris came to me with his wedding band design.  while i love mixing gold and platinum, do it all the time, i have never been quite so ambitious in my endeavors to join such a large surface area of gold to platinum.   these two metals have very different properties and when one joins them, the different temperatures at which these metals become liquid, (read, MELT!!!), combined with the radically different tensile strengths of gold and platinum make joining the metals extraordinarily difficult. top it off with the only drawback to working with platinum, it’s susceptibility to contamination from other metals at temperature…


let me put it this way.  in conversation with three different jewellers, each one said they would have turned the job away.  well now they know where to turn… smile

i had forged the whole platinum band, made the gold band to fit perfectly next to the plat, and proceeded to join the gold to the platinum with solder.   proceeded being the wrong word…

in a flash, the gold covered the platinum (like a cheap suit) and the platinum took on the appearance of a clinker, in the bottom of your coal fire.  sorta like a heavy piece of lava rock.


without boring you with the rest of the details, let it suffice to say that after lighting a candle, shedding a few tears, lighting another candle and saying a hail mary for good measure, i somehow managed to save the whole ring and weld the gold to the platinum.

i have always had a knack for “forge welding” and in desperation, i treated the gold and platinum just as i would treat steel. i hammered the gold onto the platinum before i even let it cool.  and no, it did not stress fracture!

the reason i write about this experience is because it literally is what keeps my craft so invigorating…best way to learn, the big challenging jobs that defy traditional smithing techniques.

this photo shows the inside of the band, i opted not to mess with it, keeps me humble…

and at the end of the day, fire transforms and lives are joined.

be so well,


price of platinum versus 18k palladium white gold

one of the questions that people shopping for custom platinum engagement rings often ask is “given the price of platinum, what is a good alternative for platinum engagement rings or platinum wedding bands?”

my answer in a particular alloy of gold that i love to forge: 18k palladium white gold.

palladium is a member of the platinum family, but unlike platinum, palladium is extremely affordable. when alloyed with 18k white gold, we have a metal that is intrinsically as close to the color and weight of platinum as anything one could custom create.

so unlike regular 14 and 18 karat white golds, palladium white does not need to be rhodium plated to create its fabulous deep color and so will wear beautifully over time.

to give an idea of its versatility, color and luster, here are some photos of different custom jewelry i have designed and created in 18k palladium white gold.

18k palladium white gold pendant, ring and bangle

18k white gold anniversary ring
18k white gold anniversary ring
18k palladium white gold engagement ring
18k palladium white gold engagement ring

man’s platinum ring

here’s another custom platinum ring project completed this week in the big run up to moving– I have so many projects on the bench that I’ve had to start scheduling jobs for September in the new studio in Pittsburgh!

this is a simple platinum wedding band for a man, a handforged flat bar ring finished again with my hammered and burnished finish, going out to the client today!

new handforged man's platinum wedding ring

platinum rolling rings

This is a really cool challenge I had recently from a new client: create the classic “rollling ring” design in platinum, with each of the three joined rings a different finish: a smooth, polished (shiny) platinum ringjoined to a smooth brushed platinum ring (“matte” finish) joined to a third platinum ring with my trademark hammered and burnished finish.

platinum rolling rings

Not having done a custom ring quite like this, I was somewhat anxiously awaiting my client’s reaction to the finished product, so imagine how ecstatic I was to receive this email yesterday!


Thank you for making my gorgeous ring. I know the rolling movement of the three individual rings was a challenge. But, the finished ring is perfect!

I love the weight of the ring and the way the rings roll over each over – it’s very soothing. Some how, you made a ring that feels like it was always meant to be on my hand.

You rock!!!”

-Susan Evans

forged platinum ring with marquis diamond

platinum ring with marquis diamond

One of my favorite rings ever, this forged platinum ring features a most gorgeous marquis diamond. The diamond was originally set in a 14k yellow gold cocktail ring.

so NOT my client’s style…yet she loved the diamond and wanted something that she would wear everyday.

not wanting to cover the diamond completely with a bezel setting, we opted for this prong setting which would allow maximum light and sparkle to come through.

such a stone deserves such treatment!