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There are cheap sapphires and spinels of poor quality available out of India. They are murky and have no doubt been heated or whatever they do to enhance the colour. It is precisely the bright colour and the hardness of the stones that makes them good for a ring – providing a dab of pigment on the hand.

I bought some and made these rings, which can be worn together or singly.

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Rings: silver and spinel; silver and sapphire.

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In my last post I put up pictures of some sculptural pendants in the form of buildings, that I had carved in wax. Harald cast them yesterday and they came out perfect. I have finished them, leaving a host of imperfections. I am very pleased with them.

Here they are. I photographed them in golden morning light, which gave the silver the wrong colour – so I have rendered them in B&W. There’s a lot of detail. Click to enlarge.

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I got this gorgeous amethyst and wanted to set it into a ring. The trouble was the size and depth of the stone. I decided to carve a pair of hands gripping the girdle of the stone in their fingertips. This would allow the deep basket shape that I needed. The stone is so deep that it only just misses the finger.

First I carved a blank from some green carving wax – basically a piece of wax with a hole for the finger and a space to hold the stone.

Onto that I imagined, and drew, with a lot of checking my own crossed hands, the hands that would hold the stone, then removed whatever was not fingers. Here are some stages of the process.

After a bit of sharpening up, the wax was sent to Harald for casting.Then came filing, polishing and engraving.

Here are some pics of the final item. Click on them to enlarge.

 

 

I had some lapis lazuli and, since the Medicine Buddha, the Buddhist image of healing, is commonly imagined as lapis lazuli-coloured or even made of lapis lazuli, I thought I’d make an abstraction of his face for a pendant.

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Medicine Buddha Pendant: silver, jet, lapis lazuli

 

I started out making the hair out of obsidian but the material was too brittle and liable to chip.

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Work in progress. Lapis lazuli and obsidian.

So I found some jet (fossilised coal), and after a bit of fiddling about, was able to produce a form that satisfies me. The silver part was carved in wax and cast. I used epoxy mixed with jet dust for the seams.

Here’s the finished item, actual size:

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Medicine Buddha Pendant: silver, jet, lapis lazuli

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Medicine Buddha