Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Ring a Month 2019 - November

This is my November ring for the Ring a Month Challenge 2019.

The theme for the month was Gemstones.

This is 
Rainbow Doughnuts 😁

Why Doughnuts I hear you ask??
Well I'd bought some super whizzy new moulds for making tiny embellishments and this particular mould makes little open circles. In talking to someone about them they said I could make lots of baby doughnuts!! lol It seemed like a good name to use!!😉

The moulds are made by Cool Tools in the USA (so they are molds and not moulds - lol) and are available here in the UK from Metal Clay Ltd  (at which point they become moulds!!!). 😂

First of all I made a load of little embellishments using Art Clay Silver 999. The clay is pressed into the mould and left to dry. Then the little shapes can be popped out. 

Then I made a flat ring band. As I hadn't really worked out my design in advance I went with a very wide band...

...then I played around with the doughnuts until I found a design I liked. Of course if I had done this part first I could of made the band the right size to start with, but hey, why make life easy 😉

I carefully measured up and worked out that the design should fit quite nicely around the ring so then I started to add the doughnuts to the flat band. I used water to join them...

...and continued around the ring - and it worked out right!! Phew! 😌

Then I started to remove all the excess silver clay...

...working around both edges of the ring first with a scalpel.

I used files and baby wipes to refine the design close to the edges of the doughnuts and neaten it all up. 

Next was choosing which stone colours to use. I LOVE this bit!!! 😊 Should I go with the small stones in differing colour pairs or..

....the same in each pair. I liked this second option better. The stones are 2mm and 4mm and are a mix of lab grown, nano and CZs. They are all fire-able. 

I drilled out the centre of each doughnut and used stone setting burrs to make the seat for each stone.

Arguably I could of made this ring using my usual method of creating stone settings, but I like that each setting is rounded on the top so this does give a different look. 

I set all the stones into place

Lots of different colour combos

all around the band 😊

I was pleased with the end result. 

Turned out it wasn't the easiest ring to photograph though!! lol

So now we have made 11 of the 12 rings for the year long challenge.

Only 1 ring left to go!!!

Have fun!

Joy x

Friday, 1 November 2019

Ring a Month 2019 - October

This is my ring for the Ring a Month Challenge 2019

The theme for October was
Inspired by the Seasons 

I decided to go with a Spring themed ring 😀 

This month I was running it really close on time - I only started my ring on the 31st but I did manage to get some photos posted before the end of the day!! lol

First I made the topper for the ring. The lovely pink CZ pear shaped stones are 5mm x 3mm so quite tiny. 

As the ring has a Japanese feel to it I went with a weave pattern on my textured band that I thought looked like it went with it!! 😉

Then I carved the band so it had wavy edges.

To add more colour and sparkle I added some 2mm stones, and then I carved the edges of the topper to match in with the ring band 😃

To join the two pieces together I used a element made using the Roll Makers that I already had made. 

Finally I added a little more detail into the main blossom flower to bring the stones together more. 

Then the ring was ready to be fired!!!

I finished the ring off with more of a satin texture which I like the look of. It's not a finish that I use much but maybe I'll use it more now as I liked the effect it gave. 

One of the things I was interested to see was how the surface went during firing where the blossom was. It domed very slightly around the stones and gave a good effect.

I was very happy with how this ring turned out!!! 😀 

I think there are some nice techniques in this ring that are handy to learn including how to set round and odd shaped stones, so I'll be teaching this workshop next year at Creative Glass in Rochester, UK, on Friday 7th February 2020. 

Bookings will be open next week for the workshop!! :D

That's ten rings down in the year long challenge and only two left to do!!

Until next time...

Have fun!!

Joy x

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Ring a Month 2019 - September

This is my ring for September.

The theme was 'Finish It'

This is Rainbow Nova 😊

My first question for this month was what shall I finish??? 
I had a good look around and I did have two rings that were unfinished, but as they were both really close to being done I decided I wanted to do something that was more of a challenge! 

Instead I looked around at the various bits and pieces I had and decided to use up some of these discs to make a stone setting to go onto a ring. 

First I played around trying out different designs to go onto a ring band.... 

...and once I had a bit of an idea I started to refine each disc and turn it into a stone setting using drill bits and stone setting burrs.

This is the design and choice of stones I settled on. 

My original plan was to fix the settings directly onto the ring band so I made a wide plain ring....

...then I added a texture and refined the shape up.

Then I had a change of plan!! 😂
I decided to make the stone settings into a separate piece to sit onto the ring band. This was a first for me, a variation on a theme so to speak!! 😉 

I've made lots of this type of setting before but I've never made a curved one to fit onto a ring band, normally I make them flat. 

I adjusted the ring band so the stone setting would sit with the smaller stones sitting out wider than the band, so my very wide band was now much narrower (and I have a nice heap of ready powdered clay for reconstituting!!😂) .

I was really pleased with the result! 
The setting fitted nice and snugly against the ring band.

Advert Alert!!! 😉
If you want to know how to make a ring with a multiple stone setting and texture wrap check out my Pazazzy Rings CraftCast workshop!! 

OK, advert over - lol

Then I set the stones into their settings as they would all be fired in place. They range from 2mm to 5mm. The green stones are nano and the blue are lab sapphires, the rest are CZs. 

Super pretty rainbow colours!! 🌈

I've tried various methods of firing rings with stones in and my current favourite method is to sit the ring upright supported loosely by ceramic fibre wool. If you use this method be sure to allow room for the shrinkage so don't pack the centre of the ring with wool. As the ring fires there's a bit of distortion from the weight of the stone setting but it's super easy to correct on a ring mandrel. 

I think this one is a keeper!! 
My Rainbow Nova is on my finger sparkling away as I type 😉😊

I have to admit I did make this one with me in mind so I added a nice spirally texture around the ring band!! 

 If you are interested in having a similar ring made for you just let me know!

So we are now 9 rings out of 12 made!! 
The year is flying along. 

Until next time...

Have Fun!!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Ring a Month 2019 - August

Here is my ring for August.

The theme for the month was
'Under the Sea'

This is Cephalopodicus Funnelli 😉

I had a lot of fun making this ring. As soon as I saw the theme I had an idea as I'd also just acquired a new tool and I was keen to play!!! 

So I started out making the band for the ring which was a tapered snake of textured clay.

Then I drilled out the larger end to make the shell hollow. This was so the actual creature could live inside it's shell 😄 

Next I added the arms using little textured snakes of clay. Most cephalopods had 10 arms, so 10 it was. I fitted each one into the shell and squiggled them around a bit...

...then I made some little tiny ammonites to snuggle up. I used a stone setting burr to make a seat for a 3mm stone in one of them...

...and it was cuddled up in the arms.

Then I set the stone in place and also added a nice green eye. Unlike most cephalopods Cephalopodicus Funnelli is fairly unusual in that it only has one eye 😂 

Finally I added another little ammonite on the side of the shell.

Then the ring was all ready for firing. 

Here's a little video of it before it was fired.  

After firing the ring was polished up and patinated to bring up all the nice textures. 

I was lucky that I manged to find an actual photo of Cephalopodicus Funnelli in the sea to photograph my ring beside!! Although it isn't to scale!! 😉😂

So if you are a metal clayer then you are probably wondering by now what the new tool was that I used to make this ring? 

Well I am super excited by these and I've made a video showing you the tools in action because I'm absolutely loving using them.

The good news is that they'll be in stock at Metal Clay Ltd in the very near future!!! 

I've very much enjoyed the Ring a Month 2019 challenge this month. 

I do hope you enjoy my videos!! ;) 

Until next time...

Have fun!

Joy x

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