Folks, I was in a wonderful gallery in SoHo last week and saw some
jewelry that made me scratch my head and wonder “how’d they DO
that”? While I certainly wouldn’t want to copy the design, the
technique is one that would solve some thorny problems I’ve had in
my own designs, on occasion.
The pieces were done in 18kt yellow gold, and involved
large-diameter (1/4" up to 3/4"), thin gauge jump rings, hammered
flat. On some of the rings were hung drilled briolette stones,
about 8mm - 10mm length. These were NOT sapphires or diamonds, and
the jump rings were most definitely soldered shut. The stones were
hung like beads, with no separate findings.
So my questions aRe:
If you were to approach this as a design problem, would you use
some sort of “cool-jewel” heat sink on the stone to solder the jump
rings? If so, how far does the stone have to be from the heat
source for the stuff to be effective (these were pretty small
areas)? If I’m using a Smith Silversmith torch (acet/air) do I
stand a chance of accomplishing it, or would it be only possible
with a Little Torch?
Is the technique completely dependent on using gold, and if so,
any particular karat of gold? (I ask since with gold you can solder
a specific area without bringing the whole piece up to heat.) Any
chance of accomplishing something similar in silver? (fine or
There was a range of stones used. Some looked like Andalucite
(which is a stone I’ve fallen in love with, but haven’t worked with
much), others like a beautiful light blue topaz, others peridot.
Are there stones you think would be best suited to try with this
technique (sapphires and diamonds are out on the expermental