Some time ago a client and friend noticed and asked why I didn’t wear jewellery especially as a way to showcase my work. I have worn jewellery in the past, I had the typical 10 gauge cool guy earrings of the 1990’s . For awhile I was collecting green pebbles from my travels (Bay of Fundy, Loch Ba, etc) and making them into beads worn on a leather necklace. I had imagined one day having an entire string of stones around my neck, but the vagabond days of my early twenties did not last and I think I have a total of seven pebble beads.
The more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea of making myself something…but it couldn’t just be anything, it had to be special. I decided on a ring. A Grand Ring.
I wanted to make every aspect of the ring including the stone…so the first step was looking through my rough stones. I had nice black opal but it is too soft for a grand ring same went for the white opal. Then I spied something in a box of bulk rough I had acquired.
I didn’t even know what it was (which was instantly intriguing considering I thought I was quite knowledgeable when it came to stones) so a little research was in order. Turns out it was fire agate, it had all the properties I loved about black opal or ammolite but tough and durable enough for a ring. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_agate
Excellent. I spent the next week carving and polishing a piece by hand, if I had a proper lapidary set I could have done it in an afternoon.
I was more than pleased with the final result. I had originally thought I was just going to make a simple silver ring but after I saw how nice the stone turned out that just wouldn’t cut it.
I had a piece of 22K gold and sterling mokume gane that I had been holding on to for a couple years in case a commission came up and a client wanted gold mokume. Since I had it and it had been quite awhile since gold mokume had been commissioned (I thought maybe it had gone out of fashion) so why not use it and make a show stopper of a ring.
Over the next week I patterned the mokume to echo the bubble pattern of the agate and made the other components.
By the end I was incredibly pleased with the grand ring I made myself, loved the weight of it and watching the iridescent colours flash across the face of the stone.
Another week later out of the blue I was commissioned to make a gold mokume ring and now I only wear my grand ring on special occasions.