Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ring Bling

I had so much fun with this month's theme for the PCAGOE challenge! The theme is Rings. For me, these were like eating a bag of chips... you can't stop at one! As a matter of fact I made 10 of them, but only 5 are ready for prime-time.

I first made one out of a solid piece of cured polymer, with inclusions, that I had cut into slices and slabs. I took one of the slabs and drilled a hole in it. Because of the inclusions that I had used in the polymer, it needed much reinforcement, and that is one of the ones on which I'm still working... 

But, I decided to use one of the slices from that piece of cured polymer for one of my rings. There are iridescent inclusions in this polymer, and the way it was mixed left some funky holes and swirls in the natural form. I made a ring shank out of a blend of translucent & 14k gold Premo in a triune type shape (which is actually quite comfortable to wear), and attached the inclusion slice to the shank with bonding agent. Unfortunately, because it was a rainy day here and my sunlight was limited, the photos are not the best. But if you click on the individual photo, you'll see a larger size of the image, where you can view the wonderful swirls and holes that happened with this inclusion technique. My gears are spinning with the cool result of this inclusion technique. Here's the result:

When I knew that the first idea (of the cured slab ring) was going to take more time and patience, I decided that I wanted to make some gems out of polymer, which I would "set" in a polymer ring setting. I then got the idea to use wire to secure the gem. The first iteration of this was this faux opal bead (made with Premo's opal clay) that I set in a polymer ring setting (again on a triune shaped shank) and secured with wire which makes a decorative pattern:

The second iteration skipped the polymer gem and used a faceted acrylic button, again nesting on a polymer setting and secured and bedecked with wire in the shape of a star that runs across the "gem".  The wire got a bit messy on this, I need to figure out a way to make the wire less wonky, perhaps this will entail using a thicker gauge wire... This one is on a super comfy hexagon shaped ring shank, which I embedded with a strand of the wire:

The third iteration of this idea saw me hand cutting/sanding a faceted a polymer gem, which was then set in between a simple textured band of polymer using wire that also adds a decorative element. I think this may be my favorite of this grouping of rings:

The final ring came together quite quickly, as I had a one-off button that I had made in a lovely shade of robin's egg blue. I embedded some wire in the hexagonal ring shank and had the two ends coming out at the point to secure the button. I twisted the wire down next to the button and added a decorative focal to cover it up. I also antiqued the nooks and crannies with some gold acrylic paint and some burnt sienna in the center. I love this one just for it's colors and design simplicity:

I'm thinking that the last 2 will become part of my collection... I like the others a lot, but they're a little chunky for my personal style. What do you think of my funky rings? Leave me a comment and tell me which one(s) is your favorite! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I plan to head back to the studio soon to finish up those other 5 rings that are still waiting to be finished. These are so addictive, I will likely do a whole lot more! I have another blog post coming soon too, on some fabulous items that I was lucky enough to win this past month... Look for that post after the voting reminder post for this month's challenge. Voting for this challenge opens on March 1st and will run through to March 7th at midnight EST. As usual, I'll post a reminder here when voting is open!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February Vote - Four Seasons

Wow, time has gotten away from me again! There's only 1 and a half days left to vote for this month's challenge! Here's a peek at the fun pieces my guild members and I have created for the four seasons theme:

Please head over the the PCAGOE blog and vote for your 3 favorite entries! One randomly selected voter will be chosen to win a free prize... it could be you this month! Voting will close for this challenge at midnight EST on February 7th, so hurry over to the PCAGOE page now!