The boring bit was tweaking the fit of the ring in the icon again. I think it's pretty close now... The history: we measured J's finger carefully, determined a size, I made it exactly that size- and it kept falling off. So I added 2 bumps of silver on the inside (the details of how I did it are in a previous post), knowing they were way too big, and I've been gradually reducing their size. We are very close now, and maybe even done!
I have also been working on this ring's big brother- a version of it that's about twice the size of the original. I have most of the forming done now for the outer shell, thanks in large part to a lot of time spent developing the pattern. The part I haven't been happy with is the hole in which the enamel will fit; it's very hard to get it correctly (or consistently) sized and proportioned. I purchased a few mandrels to help, but a ring is pretty small, and the mandrels are long, and so they don't fit far enough into it to do much good.
So today I made several quasi-mandrels. It was rather like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, since the first one was just barely too small, the second one just barely too big (for the state the ring was currently in), and so I have most of the work done on a third that overlaps both. I am definitely getting better at bending relatively heavy stock into relatively small diameters, and making the ends end up flush and tight! And thank goodness I had a reasonable amount of 18-gauge (1mm) brass sitting about! The first one it tried I did with 1.3mm, and it was so stiff I couldn't form it without a lot of struggle.
Also, I have started 3 prototype engagement rings. I will be using silver and manmade stones in them for the most part, but they will be fun and pretty, and I'd love to get some engagement ring gigs from people who want something a bit different. There will be more on these later.
I did a bit of work on a pendant idea, too, of which I'm making 2- I did some raising on one, and some fabrication on the other, with an eye to ending up with a very similar result. We shall see which ends up easier (and/or more fun!) to make!