It has been such a hectic month with collections reaching fever pitch in the last few days! I'm off to Croatia for a little holiday this morning, but fear not, my good buddy Carol will be manning the store while I'm gone and I've created a little collage of the gorgeous jobs I've been working on just to whet your appetite for when I return!
I've been making an awful lot of recycled gold bangles of late and I thought I'd share this one which has been embellished with 5 round brilliant cut diamonds punch set at intervals across the top.
Rosie had the usual assortment of broken chains, odd earrings and unworn rings which amounted to some 25g of gold and which as you can see turned in to a lovely heavy weight, flat gold bangle. From the crucible the molten metal was poured into the ingot mould to make a rather gnarly looking ingot. It was then run through the rolling mills to make it into a smooth, workable bar of metal. This bar was repeatedly passed through the mills between annealings (softening the gold by heating and quenching) until it was 200mm long, 4.3mm wide and 2.7mm deep. The wire was then turned up into an oval and the soldered closed. Once the fire stain was cleaned back, any scratches removed and the bangle prepolished I marked out 5 equidistant points along the top of the bangle opposite the seam and set each with a 0.03ct diamond.
And there you have it, one gold bangle with diamonds!
When my sister got married she gave me a few quid to make myself a bridesmaid gift and I thought I'd turn that into a little something for both of us. I bought a length of 9ct yellow gold wire and now we have matching oval gold bangles.
It now turns out that this little bangle is one of the most popular items that I make from recycled gold. Part of the reason is the ease of wear (neither of us ever take them off, not even for airport security) and a bangle is also a cost effective way to use up a good quantity of gold without employing too much labour. That's one of the things about recycling...it would be easier to start with new material, but often times it's more economical or sentimentally sensitive to rework what's already there.
Which brings me to Anne, a friend of my sister's, who had long admired our little bangles. She had a gold gate bracelet that was of huge sentimental value, but which was never worn, so we devised a plan to melt it down and make her her own bangle.
In the collage you can see the bracelet in a nice fresh crucible before the torch is turned on it, meting it into a fluid ball before transferring it in one movement to the waiting ingot mould. From there the metal was milled and passed through a round draw plate until it was the right length and then turned up into a round. Next it was soldered and trued up on an oval bangle mandrel before an emery and final polish.
Gate bracelet transformation complete.