After watching last week's episode of Project Runway, I decided to jump on the bandwagon with the Etsy Metal Jewelry Challenge that coincides with the Project Runway season. Since we did not have people to pair up with and be our "customer", we decided to draw out of a hat the type of jewelry/material/style and go from there. I got "ring/thread or fabric/green or upcycled". The fabulous Victoria of experimetal has gracefully been taking charge of this project this season. Thank you!
Once I found out what my parameters were, my mind started spinning. I have tons of silver scrap from failed projects, and I also have a lot of antique lace and fabric that I inherited from my Great Aunt Dorothy. There was one in particular that I remembered as being quite colorful. She was a contessa in Italy, so had lots of fabric for costumes. I rooted through my silver scrap and gathered what I thought would work from it, then went and found a few pieces of fabric from Aunt Dodo's trunk.
I knew that I wanted to create a ring that would slide between two fingers, rather than around one, and a fairly large circle would be the best design for the top. I found the large circle that I would use to sandwich the fabric for the top, initially thinking I would rivet it to a base with the fabric in between. But no, that seemed like the fabric would be too volatile. Then I realized that I could treat that ring and fabric like a stone and set it with a bezel! Unfortunately the bezel and base are not recycled, but I used as much recycled material as I could without damaging the integrity of the piece.
I had more smaller rings available that seemed to sit well inside of each other, which is what inspired the bottom of the ring. I soldered those together and domed them for comfort. The bar in between is also made of recycled scrap metal. Setting the fabric and metal circle into the ring was no easy feat...the fabric is extremely fragile and has minor tears. I actually had to cut out another piece because the first attempt failed. I used my bezel rocker for the initial setting, and then a small riveting hammer to hammer the bezel down fully onto the metal circle.
In the PR episode, the models-as-customers are wearing their designs to an industry event. I wanted my piece of jewelry to be something that someone could wear to a similar event for jewelry, and I'm sure I will :) I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out.
Other Project Runway Jewelry challenge participants and their parameters:
Metalriot: Ring - Wood - Organic/Natural
Nina Gibson: Hair Ornament - Glass - Industrial/Steampunk
Kathryn Reichert: Necklace - Leather/Fur(faux) - Tribal/Ethnic
rubygirl: Bracelet - Steel - Organic/Natural
Beth Cyr: Ring - Aluminum - Victorian/Byzantine
Delias Thompson: Ring - Plastic - Upcycle/Green