25 March 2015
20 February 2015
Do you take time to think about where an object comes from, and how it is made?
The rough blue sapphire was especially chosen by the bride-to-be, (imagine a girl in a lolly shop...) and then skilfully ground and polished, facet by facet- by a man who lives geometry- Doug Menadue of Bespoke Gems, Sydney. Apparently, the land where this stone was found is now closed to prospectors, making it all the more rare.
I was really excited to be able to bring together a fully Australian ensemble- this adds real value to the provenance, because many gems, (including Australian diamonds and sapphires!)- are cut in India, Bangladesh and Thailand, likely under working conditions that would be unacceptable in the West.
It would make a bride weep if she knew. But not this bride!
Did you know? -Although this stone is a sapphire, the long octagonal shaped cut is called an 'emerald cut'- because it was developed to best show the colour of an emerald. Nowadays it remains a popular shape for diamonds and sapphires, as well as the eponymous emerald.
Specifications: Custom-made 18ct white gold engagement ring- featuring a 3.1ct natural Australian sapphire from Lava Plains, Queensland. Goldsmithing by David Neale.
2 December 2014
Diamond 'Newen Days' Ring.
"There's the olden days and there's... the newen days."
I'm interested in old things, as you know from reading this blog,
- but I look forward to new things even more.
This is a half-moon cut diamond set in 18ct yellow gold.
I think this will make a beautiful engagement ring.
So ask her.
Enquiries: Pieces of Eight Gallery
6 October 2014
3 October 2014
15 August 2014
14 July 2014
19 June 2014
18 June 2014
14 May 2014
5 May 2014
Here's a rarity:
A Hermann Jünger brooch, 1960/70 at auction. (auctionata)
Also a rarity- a chance to see the back! Something I have never seen.
Jünger's maker's mark is a standing bird- and looks to me as though he's engraved the stamp himself-
a nice touch.
I was not expecting to see the square wire framework supporting the composition- very interesting.
There's a freeness in the face composition, and then a lot of formal, organised work to hold it together underneath.
There is always lots of things going on in a Jünger piece;
claw-setting, bezel setting, enamelling, granulation, fusing- a kind of playful game, mixing things up...
you'll see an emerald next to green glass, ivory next to white enamel.
Labels: Hermann Junger
15 April 2014
10 March 2014
31 January 2014
24 January 2014
I love working with pure gold- not typically used for today's jewellery, being somewhat softer than the lower alloys, but the trick is to make it proportionally hefty, then it is very robust, and… well…
Silver or 18k Horse Pendants can be adopted from
23 January 2014
22 January 2014
7 December 2013
28 November 2013
26 November 2013
1 November 2013
30 October 2013
21 October 2013
"we can no longer marvel at a tube being bent"- well the tube part is straight.
Simple and heavy.
Gold plated bronze.
I first made this in 2009 I think...
but I may start making them again.
16 October 2013
14 October 2013
11 October 2013
10 October 2013
9 October 2013
7 October 2013
The silver version is available in The Golden Smith Shop. US$250
Here is the method:
First, roll out silver to a thin sheet, using rolling mills.
Cut out discs, then petals. I use scissors for this- snips or saw would be too awkward.
Flatten and texturise the flowers on a rough anvil, with an antique hammer.
Scribe lines on petals using a double-pointed tool and on a heavy paper pad to allow the right amount of push-out.
Close-up of said tool. I fashioned this from a broken twist drill and hold it in a pin vice.
Dome the shapes using a wooden punch and matrix.
I dont use steel versions of these tools as these would probably spread the already-thin material.
I also stone-washed (not shown) these components to de-burr the edges.
Little backing cups are made using the same method.
All components, including ear wires are organised for assembly.
The backing cups are soldered to the ear wires. Soldering (not shown) is done under an exhaust hood and I also wear a respirator- to protect myself from potential fume hazards.
The flowers have holes punched through their centres, and are attached to backing-cups with a ball rivet. These rivets are formed from short lengths of wire with little heads melted on each end- and will allow the flowers to move a little.
A hot little flame is needed to quickly melt this rivet-head without heating the adjacent solder join
-which has a lower melting temperature. In other words, if you do this wrong, the whole lot melts together... or falls off!
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat... Repeat!
Bend assemblage into earring configuration, with ear-hooks.
Looking a little grey at this point, I immerse them in a bath of citric acid,
which brings them to a bright colour.
I burnish the ear-hooks to be bright and smooth, and give them a soapy wash.
I may try some similar versions with elements other than flowers?