Monday, June 15, 2009

On the bench

This weekend I have been busily working away on a ring that I have wanted to make for quite a while.

I have started with a piece of mokume gane that we made when I was at 'school'. Mokume gane is a japanese technique. Two or more diferent metals are layered and fired in a kiln until they fuse but don't melt. You then carefully forge and roll the metal. Finally you burr the surface to reveal the different layers and then continue to roll until the surface is flat, and beautiful woodgrain patterns have been revealed. My mokume gane is made of copper and brass.

I have made a ring with a sterling silver inner sleeve. I am teaming this with a bezel set beautiful honey yellow brazilian fire opal. I love the bright milky colour of this stone.

I started by carefully forming the outer bezel which I soldered with hard solder. The inner bezel has been tightly fit inside the outer bezel and was soldered in using medium solder. Finally the based of the bezel was cut down and filed into a curve to match the profile of the ring and soldered using easy solder. Due to the large surface area of the ring a tremendous amount of heat (and a lot of time and patience) was required to get the solder to run, but by using the different solders I could ensure that previous joins did not melt.

A little way to go yet, including cutting the shank out under the bezel and cleanup before the stone can bet set. But I am sure you can already imagine how nice this will look when completed.


  1. Wow! Addictive techniques indeed... I'm so jealous of your skill!!!

  2. Yummy as always! The stone is amazing and the technique actually sounds really cathartic!

  3. Wow, fascinating technique. Love the stone.

  4. Looks wonderful so far. Can't wait to see it finished.