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My First Gold Inlay


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As synchronicity would have it, soon after becoming fascinated with this concept of inlaying metals into one another, I got a comission for a ring that seemed perfect for inlay. The couple have two daughters, one named after the clouds or mists of Hawaii and the other after a vining plant(Maile) native to those islands. They wanted these forms worked into the ring and using some of their own stones. Here's the results of my work. I was lucky the client wanted a textured background as the curved surface was a challenge. I confess that I cheated a bit by having to add a touch of gold solder where the stems meet the upper leaves - I could have omitted that but I had to do the two inlays in 2 pieces to allow for the expansion of the inlay material due to the smaller radius of the routed channels ( there's probably a way to calculate this but I'm just learning)- when I fitted the upper leaf sections in, I was afraid I might end up with a gap so I soldered the joint. All in all I'm very pleased and want to try this some more - it's cool how effective the mechanical joining is. :rolleyes: The white gold is 14 kt. and the yellow is 18 kt.

 

Magnus

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Magnus,

 

that's great to see, :) the contrast between the textured ground and the gold leaves is really clear. It possibly took a little longer than simply soldering it on but it's no doubt much cleaner as a result.

 

cheers, Ford :rolleyes:

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Very nice, Magnus! When I consider how small such a ring has to be, that the leaves are on a pretty narrow and highly curved surface, the cutting of the channels and the tiny inlay pieces, waling away with a dinky hammer and punches, my miniature mind boggles...

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Hi Sergio, to answer your question about the soldering of the leaves - - they are not soldered to the ring at all but are inlayed into grooves or channels cut into the background and sort of dovetailed or swedged into the background - the yellow gold was about 1.5 mm in thickness to start out. After the pieces were inlayed, I used gravers, rotary burs and chasing punches to shape and texture the leaves, fruit and stems. Please go to the tutorials and check out the ones by Ford and Jim Kelso on Inlay Techniques - the whole process will become clear to you. I am excited about learning this skill and will be doing some more pieces soon - would love to hear what you discover about this in your own work - so much to learn - every door that opens seems to lead into rooms with more windows and doors :):D

Happy Hammering,

Magnus

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