Working out the kinks

(oy vey)

Things are going well in the shop of Bean (also known as singleB studio, sometimes known as the B painbox)....but I am having a very frustrating jewelry week. Let me explain.

1) I had a casting company cast a couple of pieces (my casting operation is on hiatus for the time being...when things slow down I will start casting again. I think I've figured out my issues. My sprues were too circular, they needed to be more elongated. Anyway, that's neither here nor there). That would have been awesome, except that the alloy that they used (named 14kt palladium white gold) was way yellow. Not at all the beautiful color of the normal palladium white that I use. So, I had these two giant gold rings of a terrible yellow gray color. I freaked out because, one of them is already late (yes, I'm sorry potential customers, sometimes I am behind schedule. I don't think I've ever missed anyone's wedding date however!). And what to do with these two ugly rings!?!? And I was so disappointed because I was really hoping to use this caster in the future for some more things. So I called them and it turned out that the alloy they used was from Stuller (great for stones, not so great for metal), not Hoover and Strong. But they were totally great and told me to send them back, along with new waxes and they would cast them again in the Hoover and Strong alloy and also that they would keep that casting grain in stock for me. How great is that?

2) I've been working on a gold version of this ring:

I'm very exited about it. It involved a multi-step process in order to get it going. First, I had to create a model in silver, then I had to have a 3 piece mold made, then make a wax from the mold, and then cast the piece in the final metal (in this case 14kt palladium white gold). Unfortunately for me, the shrinkage in size caused by the wax shrinkage (when shot into the mold) and then metal shrinkage when is is finally cast made the setting for the stone in the final product a bit marginal. The height of the setting was just .50mm higher than the height of the stone. This meant that the stone point (the culet) would possibly touch the finger. Suck. So now, I have this giant and heavy gold ring that I can't use. Fortunately, it is an easy fix if a little time consuming. I just added a little bit of wax to the setting on a new wax shot from the mold I had made (I also altered the ring on the inside to make it smooth instead of triple banded, still maintaining the 3 bands on the outside), and then send the current ring to the refiner. There is a bit of loss to me, but better than eating the entire cost. It was just really frustrating. There are so many factors that you have to take into account, and that I just couldn't foresee. But now I know, and I will never be caught like this again. :-)

I also finally have some of the stones I need for a few new designs, and I hope to have those out this week. There will also be a ring with blue diamonds, but I have yet to get those, so that one will have to wait until next week. So excited. This is why I got into doing this. I love making jewelry in general, but there is something so refreshing about working on a new item.