Lockdown can be fun!
Whilst it is true that almost every shop and gallery we exhibit in is closed with many cancelling orders, most Festivals such as the National Folk Festival and Floriade (as we knew it) are also cancelled and Ayers Rock Resort closed for at least three months, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Now I have time on my hands I can play with a lot of ideas I’ve been considering for some time. Keum-boo, continue with enamelling, embrace some more advanced stone setting (especially with one-off stones) and new techniques and processes to enhance what I do. For instance, I’ve never tried hinges, or hammer setting, or ……………….
In my play time so far I have produced a ring based on a fragment of a song. Friends of ours in Belgium introduced us to the song ‘Magnificent’ by Elbow. It mentions a small girl picking up sea glass on the beach and ‘sets it like a sapphire in her mind’. In the couple of years since I first heard the song, I have been unable to rid myself of that image.
I already had a fragment of cobalt blue sea glass I picked up in Ortigia in Sicily a few years ago. My latest trip to Thailand produced some sapphires just the right shade and so a ring was planned.
It needed a wide band, and as I can rarely be happy with a plain band, I reticulated it. The sea glass was an odd shape, so a bezel was fashioned to suit and a tube setting cut for a little 3mm Burmese blue sapphire.
Soldering the bezel to the shank took a couple of tries to get it in the right spot and orientation. Then the tube setting had to be affixed. Once that was settled I could patinate the ring to show off the reticulation, scrub the patina off and finally set the sea glass and the sapphire.
It was not all plain sailing, but I finally produced a ring that I loved.