~The Spider Ring Project~

~ Sterling Spiderweb Ring with Detachable Spider~

By Mark Anderson, Jessica Dow and Jessica’s mother Martha Borzoni of Different Seasons Jewelry.
Different Seasons Jewelry is a multi-artist family business. We design, fabricate and do in-house casting of custom and one-of-a-kind jewelry. We also do lapidary arts such as cabochon cutting, gem carving and gem inlay.

This is one of the most involved casting projects we’ve ever undertaken. Our client Beth Church gave us a design concept sketch (shown below). Martha hand carved the wax model for the spider and Mark adjusted it to fit the ring and the opal he custom cut to fit the spider. Mark hand carved the spiderweb ring and did all of the opal cutting and setting.
I was expecting this ring to be bulky and awkward… but Mark did an extraordinary job of making the design remarkably comfortable.

The photos below show the ring progressing through concept sketch & the hand carved wax models to the final finished ring.
Mark designed the ring to make the spider removable. The ring can be worn with or without the spider. This also opens up the possibility of having more matching pieces designed at a later date.Opal Spider RingOpal Spider Ring
Mark used a small hidden screw to attach the spider to the ring. A video of Mark attaching the spider to the ring is available on our YouTube account here~http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNlPV_jZQiI

Wax Ring Model in Process. Carving by Mark Anderson.

Spider ring model


~Similar opals to the opal Mark used for the spider ring..~
Wax spider model in process… we carved two for our client to choose from.

 Solid A+++ Australian Opal


Lightning Ridge Black Opal

My mothr Martha is the spider carer in the family… Mark made the entire ring, did all the inlay but my mom hand carved this gorgeous spider…..she’s an extremely talented painter, gem carver and more. I’m VERY lucky to have her on our little family team!

Wax Spider Casting Model

Our hand carved spider in wax for casting, molded around the crystal opal inlay..the model had to be precisely carved to fit Mark’s hand cut opal cabochon for inlay.

Wax Spider Casting Model

Spiderweb Opal Inlay Ring being worn without spider.
Spideweb opal inlay ring without spider
The ring being worn with the spider attached.
Opal Spider Ring

Below are various photos of the finished ring~

Mark attached the spider in a manner that allowed the opal underneath to show from a profile view.

Opal Spider Ring

Opal and Pink Spinel Spider Ring


Opal and Pink Spinel Spider Ring

Opal Spider Ring

Opal and Pink Spinel Spider Ring

Another spider-related piece that I thought I’d add into the blog:) Our carved matrix opal pendant was in a full article in Art Jewelry Magazine.Photo courtesy of Art Jewelry Magazine September 2010 issue.

Art Jewelry Magazine September 2010 issue

Opal Spider Pendant

A Hand carved Andamooka Matrix opal spider ready for setting into a pendant, cuff or a large ring. This is the most colorful spider we’ve carved to dae. It has pockets of gem grade opal, making t more valuable than the other spiders. This photo doesn’t do it justice as it’s a bit over-exposed.
Carved Andamooka Gem Matrix Spider

Carving the spider ( an excerpt from the article)
Carving the Spider...

The pendant from the article and another spider my mother carved for a different project~

Other hand carved and cast spiders we plan on using for projects such as belt buckles, pendants or even a wild bolo tie!… we’re still not sure. Each spider is a bit different (these are obviously larger than the spider we cast for the ring).

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul O. February 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

JD, love your work here. Got your blog site from your sig on ECF. As an ole lapidarist, no longer do it, but love opals, hence my ECF name(oplholik). I used to dig for fire opals in the Mojave Desert of Calif. But again, your work is great, and I enjoyed looking at it.


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