Hmmm, the stone doesn't fit!

Hmmm, the stone doesn’t fit!

I love it when a plan comes together! I work for hours and hours on a vision that I have in my mind. I spend the time to sketch it out. I dream about what it will look like when it’s all done. I obsess over it like Gollum does for “my precious”  from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Finally, I painstakingly put my plan into action. I calculate for ring size and stone size. I execute my design. I refine the delicate filigree, I fuss, it breaks (hey it happens), I fix it and I refine some more (after all the devil is in the details) and then I re-refine again. Only after hours and hours and yes, even more hours, the piece goes into the kiln with a prayer to the kiln gods that it doesn’t collapse in the firing, because syringe filigree can be fragile. I anxiously wait for the kiln and the cool down. I peak into the kiln…. “my precious” is in one piece and looks intact. I breathe a sigh of relief…When I finally take it out of the kiln…………… my heart stops……………. The shrinkage has happened in all the wrong places…..JUST MY LUCK! It’s just like buying a new pair of jeans hoping they will shrink in the waist only to have them shrink in the length. It really wasn’t supposed to be quite this big around and the plan was for the stone to fit at the top of the piece…. <Sigh> How did this happen…. Metal clay shrinks proportoinally! Well, it always has before.

No it wasn't supposed to take up half my hand!

No it wasn’t supposed to take up half my hand!

Does it look horrible? No, but it sure doesn’t look anything like the plan I had in my mind! Am I disappointed? YES! (Understatement) But, there is always plan “B” I’m not exactly sure what that involves, but I’m sure it will be much more complicated than I want it to be…and I really hope that it will also be much more rewarding (ok …. I’m really trying to find the silver lining here…) when I finally have a finished (better than it would have been IF plan “A” had worked out the first time) showpiece ring! I’ll keep you posted on my progress….. It may be a while…don’t hold your breath ;D

The outside of the unpolished ring.

The outside of the unpolished ring.












Copyright © Mary M. Ehlers, Good Muse Designs 2013. All rights reserved.

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