March 12th, 2008

anvil, ring

(no subject)

Ah, polishing. I really don't mind it- it can even be fun- when I'm polishing 1 or 2 pieces and doing other things with other pieces. Right now, though, I'm at the polishing stage of the next few pieces I need to have done ASAP, so today was all polishing, all the time. (At least tomorrow I'll probably be setting a stone or 2!).

My enthusiasm was not helped by the work I was doing on the sterling/Pt mobius ring. As I began working on the flattened part of the band, some flaws started showing up there, too; I'm pretty sure it was the relics of the porosity again, albeit modified by the rolling process. They were definitely not tool marks! It was frustrating, since I'd previously been doing much the same thing with gold and sterling, and those showed no such issues (and so were much more fun to polish!).

I think I've polished and burnished past these flaws enough so that the ring will be OK, though I'd be hesitant about its ability to fulfill a commission to my standards. Getting a really good, smooth, mirror-polish on the outside of the band is very important for this ring, because I want to see how the metal holds up to heavy wear. The twist, with its sculptural aspects, will also be a good test, so I want that as perfect as possible so I can see if the metal deforms in wear.

Internal flaws in the metal are a problem with this style, since I need to do a fair amount of sculpting in the pre-polish stage to make the lines flow that way I like. That means removing metal... and it's one thing if the metal is solid, and quite another when removing the surface reveals flaws! Then I have to balance working on the flaws with getting the proper sculpted lines, and that makes my brain hurt! Seriously- it means a constant evaluation of 2 separate criteria, and that is not fun.

Fortunately the gold and silver are both a delight to work with, so it was not all frustration and angst! Both are turning into very pretty rings indeed. (Well, so is the sterling/PT one, it's just giving me more grief.)

Tomorrow I should probably start twisting the light-gauge sterling/Pt wire for fiigree. I figure that if the wire has internal flaws, it'll break in places that I would not expect- so it should be an interesting test.

J has been discussing the issues I've found with the sterling/Pt guys, and I have a couple of things I ought to do to see if I can provide them with samples of the problems I've encountered. I flat-out refused to send them the ring I've put enough work into it now that I'm not giving it away! Plus, I have mostly minimized the problems at this point. And it'll still be interesting to see how well it holds up to wear.

I've decided to put one of the dark-red diamonds in it. The blues and yellows were just kinda boring with the metal color- too pastel.

I only stopped because my eyes were getting fizzy from so much close work, and my right elbow was complaining. Apparently I torque it into some weird angle when polishing.
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    accomplished accomplished