Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Creation of Custom Wedding Rings

Almost 20 years ago, Ron and I designed this ring. This was the rough sketch Ron drew for it. As it turned out at the time, when we approached a jeweler, we couldn't afford to have the rings made. 

 
When we decided it was time to make our relationship legal, thanks to the Iowa and US Supreme Courts, we approached another jeweler about creating these rings. This is diagram she created. The sad part of the story is that she wanted such an exorbitant amount of money to create these, we still could not afford them.


Through an intensive Internet search, I came across another custom jeweler and truly admired the rings he had created. Our thought was if we cannot get our rings made, there were unique alternatives as a secondary option. This is how we came upon Kelly Kerkes of Kerkes Goldworks in Evan, CO. Telephone: 970-218-5522.

After some discussion back and forth, we realized Kelly's fee was something we could afford and have our dream rings made. Kelly sent me these pictures as the creation process proceeds.

These symbols may confound all who look at them, but for us they are significant.

Kelly explains:
This is the set up and wax carving process.
The first few photos are on a wax "tube" that allows for some of the layout to be done in tandem. The tube also allows for some use of a small hand turned lathe to keep the shoulders of the rings squared to the inside. I use a wide range of small files and "chisels" to shape the
detail, just like a wood carver, but under magnification. Most of my hand tools are made from modified crochet hooks, as seen in the second image.

(It's okay to laugh, I get that from students who see my wax kit) Eventually, the models are cut from the tube and brushed with various nylon makeup brushes to give them a polish. Then a few rounds of touch ups. Lastly, the inside diameter/size are checked, and a little bevel is added to the inner lip.








More pics closer to finish. And "posed" for artistic consumption. Please let me know what you think, and try to remember there will be no translucency in metal, just contour and texture.

I will round the edges of the "shoulders" in the metal finishing phase. Also, the inner
lip gets smoothed out a great deal at that time.

These are ready to cast if you like what was done.





Kelly Kerkes of Kerkes Goldworks in Evan, CO. 
Telephone: 970-218-5522.
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3 comments:

glenn said...

that's pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Ryan those are beautiful. I had no idea that was the process. Very interesting. Now most importantly do you know which is 'The One Ring to Rule Them All'? - Jude

Dr. Ryan James said...

Of course, it is the one that fits me. : )

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