Evolution of a Ring

Michelle H's Ring
Michelle H's Ring - v2
Michelle H’s Ring – v2

Evolution of a ring…This ring is giving me grief! It’s a custom piece for the same person who had me make the most recent pendant piece I posted. These are both stones that are special to her because her husband gave them to her. The pendant was a great project because it was, well, a pendant. And creating a custom wire-wrapped pendant from a loose stone is something I do all the time. But a ring from a loose stone is another project altogether! Because I create #wirewrapped jewelry, setting a loose stone is more of a challenge. I make all kinds of rings and have for years. Most incorporate semi-precious stones. B-u-t…they are normally stones that have been pre-drilled and turned into beads that can then be SECURED into a ring design. Loose stones are very difficult to set securely into a wire-wrap ring. And this stone is very small. And smooth. No ridges or bumps for the wire to grab onto.

Sooo…it’s been a challenge.
And it’s not over yet.
The first image below is my first attempt. She liked the way it turned out and I liked the look of it, too. But…the stone wasn’t really very secure in the setting.
Michelle H's Ring - v1
Michelle H’s Ring – v1
Sooo…I went to work on a different design.
The second photo isn’t actually the second version…I crafted several other shanks (the actual RING part that goes around the finger) with different ways to set the stone and have it secured into place.
Yaaa…not so much.
So, I decided to treat it as a pendant and hand-forged a “frame” for the stone, which I then wrapped as I would any of my custom, loose stone, pendants.
And that worked much better as far as making sure the stone was secure in the setting.
Attaching it to the shank was another issue…
I had to attach the setting onto the ring shank now and it was a trick to make that configuration stable…so that it didn’t wobble around back and forth.
But it turned out pretty good.
I boxed it up…without sending her a photo for approval first…because she was already coming over to pick up her pendant and I was rushing to have her ring ready for delivery at the same time. I was taking a hope shot that she’d like the design.
And she did…mostly.
But she decided she didn’t like the curls at the top of the ring and asked me if I could get rid of them. Make alterations so that the curls went away.
Here is where it stands today…(the last Version – v3)
Michelle H's Ring

I’m not done with it yet…She wants me to add some additional wraps at the top for balance…something I also figured would look best and was planning to do, anyhow. And I told her I’ll clean up any wires that are kind of “lumpy” or bumpy and smooth that out.

But she likes this design much better.

I’m glad.

I’m never getting paid as much as I should for the amount of time I’ve devoted to this project. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

No more custom pieces.

I have so many of my own stones and beads already on hand that I could probably work endlessly for the rest of my life and never run out of supplies or projects! But the biggest incentive for only creating my own pieces is that I have creative control over style, design, and most importantly…materials.

Don’t get me wrong…I love crafting special and meaningful pieces for people…

I just can’t reasonably charge what I should for the amount of time it takes me to complete a finished piece that I and the client are both happy with.