by kaytaylor on November 23, 2008

Horn Coral Ring by Kay Taylor

Horn Coral Ring by Kay Taylor

After taking a metal corrugation workshop with Trish McAleer a few years ago I found there were really no limitations to its use.   I love making rings, but have found that custom rings can be a real challenge achieving the right fit.  Sometimes a ring lays differently on a someone’s finger than expected, so experience with sizing and the use of certain materials in a ring makes it or breaks it. 

This Horn Coral ring (fossil coral from Utah) was made for a client who loved the stone.  We talked about fit and ended up using half round wire, turned inside out for a comfort fit.  I knew that it would be a bit top-heavy, so used as wide half-round wire as possible.  In the future I would probably use rectangular wire or cut sheet to help the balance problem.  Less turning on the finger.  The stone was extraordinary, so we decided to emphasize the obvious and do a little corrugation around the perimeter.  Instead of just using the corrugated 4mm fine silver bezel wire as the bezel, I used 2mm fine silver bezel wire to hold the stone and soldered the corrugated strip around that, with no parts touching each other.  Set the stone.  Oxidized the ring and “voila” — complete. 

Side view

Side view

This is the side view.  Notice the band.  Should have been a bit heavier to hold the hefty setting. 

When placing solder on a corrugated surface, I found out by trial and error to use balls of solder on each outside ridge at the join.  Solder flows up if you place inside the “valleys”.  Creates too much clean up. 

The next two rings are both fossilized dinosaur bone.  See whether you can see the difference in the setting technique. 

The ring below is a lovely purple, a real purple.  Have no more of this material left, so I’m always on the lookout for the same color.  Very rare!

The ring on the bottom is my own.  Red and oxidized.  I used small half-round wire soldered three across.  Nice and wide and the stone never turns the ring.

Natural purple dino bone

Natural purple dino bone

Natural red dino bone

Natural red dino bone




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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

kaytaylor November 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Thanks so much Karen for informing us all. Will certainly give it a try. I’ve shaped rings into square ones in the past, but not after a round ring w/ stone is complete.

Karen Bahr November 26, 2008 at 3:55 pm

You need a ’rounded square ring mandrel’ as described in the Rio Grande catalogue page 112. Once your ring is made, you can slip the ring on the mandrel so the top of the ring faces the floor. Make sure it is centered on the middle of a flat side. Then using a Rawhide mallet you lightly tap the bottom of the ring (facing upwards) just enough to reshape the bottom of the shank to be flat (squared). You are only changing its shape not its size. This fits a little more comfortably on the finger and helps with the tenancy of the top heavy ring to twist sideways. I hope this is clear.

kaytaylor November 26, 2008 at 11:05 am

Would you go into a little more detail about the squaring of the ring to keep the stone from turning it, i.e. hammer or mallet, the square mandrel, response to process when shank is very heavy, danger of enlarging the ring, etc? I’m sure readers, as well as I, would benefit.

Kay Taylor

Karen Bahr November 26, 2008 at 10:54 am

The rings look great. Thanks for the tips on soldering corrugation. For balancing a larger ring try squaring the bottom of the shank as this will help keep the ring from turning. You can often square just the bottom of the shank after the stone is set if you have a square mandrel.

Lauren November 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Very nice! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to share the soldering tips with us.

bethwicker November 24, 2008 at 8:10 am

Lovely – just lovely!! Really like the way the corrugation enhances the setting. I intend to experiment with the technique, so really appreciate seeing what you have done, and the soldering tips.

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