Some new rings — casting metal around stones

I’ve been working on a quick’n'easy way to do lost wax rings using the limited amount of gear that I have here. I start with a plaster cylinder, around which I form the jewelry in wax, with the actual stone mounted in the wax. Then I do a traditional lost wax process, and I leave the stone in place after burning out the wax, so when I pour the metal in, it forms around the stone. I’m thinking this is the easiest way for me to do what would otherwise be hopelessly ambitious settings. The first two rings below are made out of tumbled semi-precious stones that I bought for $0.20 at the CNE, and the third (the Fortress of Solitude looking thing) is a fluorite crystal. I have two more of these and I quite like how they look.

These are the first three — the first set of — lost wax rings that I’ve ever made, so I anticipate getting much better as my skills increase. I am happy with how these turned out, but every time I look at the pictures I cringe because I see something that I could do better. I got a book today about jewelry techniques — stone setting and stuff like that — so I have a very long list of things I want to try, in addition to all the things I just want to improve. That said, don’t be surprised if these are for sale in the shop!

9 Comments

  1. Zandelion wrote:

    These are excellent.
    Is it possible to do the lost-wax procedure inside, or does one require at the very least an open backyard?

    Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  2. kate wrote:

    these are impressive. good job.

    Friday, September 2, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink
  3. Dresden wrote:

    What’s a good tutorial for casting with pewter? I was thinking that a more practical application for me would be to cast custom drawer pulls and furniture accents. (I’m a wood guy).

    Friday, September 2, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  4. Jared wrote:

    These are amazing! I too would love a more in depth look at your production process. Or even just a current photo of your work space. Fantastic work. Can’t wait for the store!

    Monday, September 5, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink
  5. Shannon wrote:

    Zandelion (and Dresden and Jared) – It’s REALLY EASY to do, and you can do it in a small apartment with limited equipment (and limited cost). When I feel a little more confident about my methods I’ll put together a “making fine jewelry on the cheap” tutorial.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  6. Sarai wrote:

    Shannon, gene to cure chronic pain??

    http://www.healthzone.ca/health/newsfeatures/research/article/1051566–scientists-find-gene-that-controls-chronic-pain?bn=1

    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  7. dresden wrote:

    I’d really appreciate that, Shannon. Thanks!

    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
  8. ursula wrote:

    These are great, I especially like the flourite crystal ring, the shapes are amazing….
    You mentioned a shop? Do you have somewhere you are selling your rings? :)

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  9. Milen P. wrote:

    Make more like these with different kinds of gem stones! I would definitely buy them!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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