My second ring project is done and it was quite an ordeal. The assignment was to incorporate granulation in a ring design with a set stone. We were to think of creative ways to set stones and use the granulation thoughtfully. The design didn’t come easily for me and I ended up with two attempts before scrapping the whole thing and starting over on Monday. That’s just two days ago. And did I mention it was due today? Oh yes, I did.
I knew I wanted to set a river rock and I also wanted to learn how to set a stone on a stone. While river rocks have been done to death, this rock had particular meaning to me and Sarah was ok with me using it. Three years ago I was at Arrowmont for a two week workshop on granulation and enamel. While I was there I celebrated my birthday. Since the class was taught by Sarah and included another friend of mine, they went out of their way to make my day special. Sarah arranged with the kitchen to pack a picnic lunch for the entire class and we drove down to the river to eat, celebrate and relax. I filled my pockets with all of these wonderful smooth stones I found along the banks. I had no idea what I’d do with them, but wanted to take them home as a reminder of my day. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make something special with one of them.
I struggled with the design. Sarah had suggested something that made the rock appear to float in the setting and I liked it, but wanted to push myself harder. I created an oval-shaped wall and thought about setting the stone in it. While granulating the wall, I started melting a section, got mad and pushed it aside. Then I thought about a rectangular wall with rounded ends that would sit horizontally on my hand and show finger cleavage. I struggled with that one for several days and when I finally got it finished, decided it was just too big and ridiculous-looking to be a ring. Monday I took it to class where I showed it to Sarah who laughed at the size. It was then I decided to take a band I’d already granulated and float the stone in it. Sarah thought it was a stronger design and I felt the same way.
I went home focused and ready to get it done. Thankfully, I had the band granulated and had already created the double bands for the actual ring. Once I had a clear idea of where I was going, all of it fell into place quite quickly. I finished it today and here’s the final piece:
It’s a faux garnet set on top. I’ve decided I really like the look of the preciousness of the garnet compared with the industrial look of the stone. Here’s a front view: