Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've got it! I've got it!

Finally! I've decided what to do for my engagement ring! There was this super spectacular recycled diamond available a few weeks ago, and I snapped it up. It's freaking gorgeous! It arrived last week, and I've been taking it out and admiring it every day. .87ct, VVS2, K color! Lovely, lovely! I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the color, since it is "lower" down on the color spectrum, but I think I'm in love. There is nothing super yellow about, it is just darkly sparkly. I'm not sure how else to explain it. I plan on setting it in 18kt yellow (what else?).

I've also decided on a design for the actual ring. But I will save that for another post!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tax Day

Let me just give all of you reading out there a little bit of friendly advice:


If you just do that you will have a relatively painless tax day. If you do not, you might find yourself wandering around the natural foods grocery store with a dazed expression, trying and failing to soothe the sting caused by writing ginormous checks to the IRS with a cup of coffee and a chocolate cookie, at a loss as to whether new burt's bees lip balm will make you feel better (hint: it won't). Oh well.

So this morning, when my car didn't start (yay!!) and I was waiting around for my future father in law to come and rescue me, I was reading this (another only semi-successful retail therapy purchase):

Toward an Art History of Medieval Rings

Tell you what, I love that title, that's fo'sho. My jewelry and design related book collection is gradually growing. There is little that I like more than a glossy book filled with photographs of things made with gold and accompanied by much small print. Seriously. And this book is especially nice. There are photographs from many different angles! Even from the bottom and back! (Not on everything, but enough to make it very exciting.) Most of the time jewelry books don't provide multiple angles, with the result that it is hard to tell how something is put together. What use is one gorgeous photograph from the most artistic possible angle, if it hides how the thing is constructed? No use, that's what. I want the nitty gritty. I want to see how the bezel is attached to the shank, I want to know what these medieval goldsmiths did and how they did it.

And this (!!!!!):


That is a sword hilt made of diamonds. Holy sh*t. The skill! The skill!! The size of those rocks. But mostly the skill! The beauty of the design! I love the three curves that arc over the largest cushion/round shaped diamond in the hand guard section. Maximizing a simple design with tons of bling. Gorgeous. (This isn't from the medieval ring book, btw, this is from something else, snapped a quick picture at Powell's Books.)

oh, oh, oh!

Will I ever be this skilled? No. Probably not. I'm sure this guy spent his entire life from the age of 8 on as an apprentice. And this was probably made by a whole shop of people anyway, each doing a certain part of the process that they specialized in. But I can dream. I can dream.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

9:00 in the A.M.

Ladies and gents, I accomplished the impossible today. I arrived in the studio at 9:05am. I don't know why it is such a struggle for me to get out of bed (it's really not even the getting out of bed, it is the getting around and dressing and eating and getting out of the door that is the hard part for some reason). But I did it!! I made it! And I think I can keep it up. Now that I'm no longer living in a Shadowland (i.e. the NW during the winter) I have much more motivation for full days and lots of work (and working out! I have to tackle the results of all that winter cake eating!).

And why would I be compelled to attempt this feat of early morning (I realize 9am isn't early, I used to have to get up at 3am to get to work when I was in the Navy) bravery?! To finish these:

It really took me forever to get this finished. I think I had the wax kicking around forever, and then the cast pieces kicking around for another forever. But they are finally done. I think I will do some adjusting to the design and maybe some other variations. I just wish I had made them in my size!

I really like how they can be worn more ways than one. These photos aren't ideal, the light right now isn't the best. And I don't have a solitaire on hand to photograph them with. They look really nice facing out from either side of a simple solitaire, very lacy.

All right! I'm forcing myself to pack up and head home early today. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A possible?

I'm still struggling with my own wedding ring, but I finished this set the other day for someone else (it is actually a complete set, solitaire, woman's wedding band, man's wedding band) and I liked them all together. I love the chunkiness. Of course, I will probably go with yellow gold, but it sure looks nice in the palladium.

I also like the idea of wearing just a super wide plain band for some reason. A bit ironic for someone who uses stones in almost everything she makes?

But I love shiny things (almost) as much as I love cake with cream cheese frosting, so I'm not absolutely sure I would be happy with just a big fat band. But maybe I would be? And then maybe I could make myself an outrageous pair of diamond earrings? I'm excited to make something for myself, I think I have 4 things total. A couple of pairs of earrings (one set an experiment), a necklace made of scrap metal, and my current engagement ring(s). Oh, and some bangles (a return from a customer who wanted a larger size). Sad? But I actually don't wear that much jewelry (more irony?), so I'm not complaining (too much).

All right, I'm starting to ramble and I should probably get back to work now. That way I can go home early. Tonight is burrito night!