Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rings and things that could have been!

Oh my, how I'd loved this shinny ring...and maybe I have just loved it to death! Possibly a little too keen to get it finished that I didn't think things through properly! I fired him carefully in the kiln in a little terracotta pot filled with vermiculite...oh he looked so dam cute sitting proud in on his vermiculite throne!

After firing the ring post had come away from the base of the ring so I packed it with some fresh clay, let it dry and refired it...but here I do have to admit that I was so keen to get his lovely stone set, that I did the refiring with a torch...I figured that this little patch up wouldn't need a kiln firing! All looked good, so I polished him and set the stone...happy, happy, joy, joy! I was in love, what a stunner! A little bit more work hardening and woopsie, whats that I feel? a lose shank?? Me being me, I can't leave it alone and I pull, push and tug to test its strength...and hello, out it comes?

So what went wrong?? Firstly I think that maybe the clay base I inserted it into was not thick enough, and maybe the fact that I had cut the centre of the bezel out as I would normally do for a pendant, didn't work when attaching a slab of clay to its base to insert the ring shank into...........and then finally that I didn't kiln fire my patch up! 
...and as the love affair fades and disappointment sets in I can't even stand to show you the front of the ring....and the question is now how do I get the lovely stone out of that tightly fitted bezel, so I can fix this piece or at the very least reuse the stone?


  1. Hi, Rachel! First of all, torch firing simply isn't any good for structural pieces. You burn the binder out, but you aren't really making metal. Just a bunch of particles stuck together at elbows and knees.

    And your shank wasn't properly imbedded- you need to get it in enough to hold, and once you've imbedded it, you need to let it dry with no fooling around, and fire it. Any wiggliness before firing will result in a failed shank.

    You can solder it on if you like- that's pretty straightforward and a very good solution for a permanent bond.

  2. Thanks Kate! No wiggling, I promise!

    Soldering, ok, I've been wanting to learn that one, now I have a I reason!

    Thanking you muchly!