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Introducing my new DVD


#1

A lot of people do not believe in Astrology. I am somewhat agnostic
on the subject, but than some coincidences simply difficult to
ignore.

I completed all work and was ready to go with my new DVD Ballerina
Ring a week ago, but somehow it did not feel right. So on the spur of
the moment I grabbed my wife and we were on the plane heading for
Vienna.

What can I say. Vienna is as beautiful as ever. Anna Sacher still
serving the best roast chicken in the world, and her private cuvee
is sublime. Well, after a week of rest and relaxation I am back at my
desk, ready to go with my DVD. And than I realized that I have
released my Coronet Cluster exactly one year ago, on the button. I do
not know what to make of it, but It has to have some cosmic
significance.

Anyway, I digress. I want to talk about DVD. I uploaded trailer on
benchtube, or you can watch it on my website

This DVD covers several very important subjects in goldsmithing.
Frankly, I do not know of any other source of which deals
with fabrication of Ballerina type cluster, which is a shame. One can
learn a great deal working with these clusters. Well, enough of sales
talk. Watch the trailer and make up your own mind. If you do decide
to purchase it, I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Leonid Surpin
studioarete.com


#2

Very nice trailer, and an excellent ring. Will have to wait until
finances permit.

John


#3

One of my greatest pleasures is watching a tradesman who knows what
he is doing at work - it doesn’t matter what trade. This trailer does
not disappoint.

I am prepared to stand corrected though but I thought a ballerina
cluster had the stones set in a wave pattern similar to that of a
tutu whereas from what I can see in this ring, with the stones set in
a single plane, would be a standard tapered baguette cluster.

Roger


#4
....I thought a ballerina cluster had the stones set in a wave
pattern similar to that of a tutu.... 

I made ballerina rings in the 1980s when I did cluster style
cocktail rings as specialty high-end trade work. Some had an
undulating skirt, others were flat. There were 2 basic approaches.
Pierce a plate with openings as Leonid shows (either flat, angled, or
dapped into an undulating skirt) or make an arrangement of individual
bagguette settings soldered to the center settings and suspended on
tip wires from the filet making the basket (undercarriage). Each
approach is challenging and requires exactness and precision and
refined skill with simple tools; mostly saw and file work and
intricate soldering.

I was taught the technique of making the individual bagguette
settings from a length of flat or square stock. Layout and pierce a
setting on each end of the wire to make a pair, then saw them off and
start again. (much like potters throw teabowls off the hump rather
than centering individual balls of clay)

These kind of projects, for a skilled goldsmith, are a pleasure to
work on. The precision they require is just an expression of the
talent of a person who is accomplished with tool and fluent with
material.

Nice trailer Leonid!Michael David Sturlin
http://michaelsturlinstudio.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#5

Leonid,

Than k you once again for a wonderful presentation. I marvel at the
preciseness of your work, and your willingness to share it with us.
Ballerina Rings, were the dream of my life, especially with the
undulating “skirt” of Baguette Diamonds, around a colored center
stone. A never realized dream.

Hugs and Thanks,
Terrie


#6
I am prepared to stand corrected though but I thought a ballerina
cluster had the stones set in a wave pattern similar to that of a
tutu whereas from what I can see in this ring, with the stones set
in a single plane, would be a standard tapered baguette cluster. 

You are right Roger


#7
I was taught the technique of making the individual baguette
settings from a length of flat or square stock. Layout and pierce a
setting on each end of the wire to make a pair, then saw them off
and start again.

I was taught to arrange the stones table side down on the fabricated
top plate, then paint them with the tip of a torch flame (with very
little oxygen). That covers the stones and plate with soot. Once you
remove the stones you have a perfect visual layout to pierce and saw.
I don’t always do it that way now, but that’s how the German Master I
apprenticed under trained me to make a ballerina ring plate many
moons ago…


#8
I am prepared to stand corrected though but I thought a ballerina
cluster had the stones set in a wave pattern similar to that of a
tutu whereas from what I can see in this ring, with the stones set
in a single plane, would be a standard tapered baguette cluster. 

Yes, some Ballerinas given undulated clusters, and in some the angle
of approach towards the center setting is varies as well. These are
devices to obtain distribution of stones around the perimeter in the
best way possible. When we introduce wavelike character to the
cluster, we are increasing the surface of the cluster, which allows
to use more stones and depending on the size the stones may fit
better. This is usually done when center stone is marquis or of
similar type. It is also works very well when center stone is a
diamond.

When center stone is round or well proportioned oval, this is
unnecessary and good distribution is obtained with level clusters.
Undulation is a kind of a shortcut. If cluster is prepared without
sufficient precision there may be a situation when a stone may not
fit. In this case one either cuts the stone to size, or by increasing
the level of undulation can actually make the stone fit into it’s
seat.

In this DVD I show how to avoid such mistakes. I could not fit it in
the trailer, but sizable portion of the DVD is about layout
preparation and transferring the layout to metal, maintaining
required precision.

I do not want to create the impression that each and every Ballerina
with undulated cluster is a shortcut. There are examples executed
with remarkable precision and results are breathtaking. However,
these are required specially cut stones. Cluster is made and sent to
diamond cutter to cut stones to size. Alas, I do not have such
resources, and I suspect that not many of us do.

Leonid Surpin
studioarete.com


#9

Nice work Leonid! I really enjoy your precision. It is something I
always hope to one day attain.

On a side note, I’m really jealous you were able to hop over to
Vienna. My wife and I haven’t had the opportunity to get over there
the past few years due to young kids. I’ve never had the opportunity
to have Anna Sacher’s chicken, but on the other side of things, I
just can’t get enough of Plachutta’s Tafelspitz or the
Wienerschnitzel at Figlmuellers. Oddly enough, one of my karate
students recently went to Vienna on a college band trip. She told me
she got to learn a lot more about her Great-Great-Great Grandpa while
there. I thought it was neat that she was able to trace her family
back and learn about her heritage…and was absolutely floored when
I learned it was Franz Joseph I! Crazy little world isn’t it?

Sorry for the side track, but I’m really missing Vienna these days
and your comments brought up a whirlwind of memories. Again, great
work on the DVD and best of luck!

Erich C. Shoemaker
Erich Christopher Designs, LLC
ErichCDesigns.com


#10

I made ballerina rings in the 1980s when I did cluster
stylecocktailrings as specialty high-end trade work. Some had
anundulating skirt, others were flat I’d have things to say about
method and style or lack of it, but I won’t. A nice, workmanlike
effort there. I have to cry purist here, though. A ballerina ring has
an undulating setting plate, like a tutu, else it’s not a ballerina,
it’s a baguette surround. It makes no real difference because there
are infinite variations of everything. In terms of nomeclature,
that’s a signet, that’s pave, that’s a body ring… and THAT’S
a ballerina. In this case it IS just labels, but that’s how we
communicate, too. BTW, (what I would call) true ballerinas have
pretty well gone the way of signet rings with black onyx and a
diamond plate riveted onto it. Pretty passe, design-wise, but very
challenging to do well, as Michael says, just the same.


#11
I was taught to arrange the stones table side down on the
fabricated top plate, then paint them with the tip of a torch flame
(with very little oxygen). That covers the stones and plate with
soot. Once you remove the stones you have a perfect visual layout
to pierce and saw 

May be it is a deficiency on my part, but this method never worked
for me. Not only this method. There are technique of covering plate
with wax, arranging stones and gently heating it. Stones sink
slightly and leave impressions. Another one is arranging stones on
plasticine and taking plaster impression, which is used for
measurement, and some others. The main idea of all these techniques
is manually arranging. What I found out is that in every case, by
the time I arrange last stone, some previously place stones are moved
out of their positions and that introduces variations, which I find
objectionable.

What needs to be understood is that movement of 0.1mm may not even
be noticed in such layouts, but if width of narrow end is 1.2mm, it
represents 8% of the stone width. This is huge! After positioning 20
stones such mistakes accumulate and it totally skews the symmetry of
finished piece.

What needs to be understood about my DVDs is that each one
demonstrates a number of techniques which can be employed in many
different situation. They also shows how to combine such techniques
to make something useful. I am not going to argue whether or not
tapered baguette cluster needed to be undulated to be called
Ballerina. I actually appreciate purist point of view. So call it
Ballerina Junior. The main point is the technique of achieving
precision in designs, where 0.1mm tolerance is not acceptable. DVD is
also addressing basket construction, assembling for soldering where
parts are many and difficult to hold, and etc.

It is not my objective to create reference pieces. The value of each
DVD is not in the final outcome, but in techniques used to achieve
it. The rest is secondary.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#12

Beautiful ring Leonid ! The trailer is wonderful, I will have to get
the full DVD !! A question, what is the central stone, is it a
spessartine garnet ? Its a lovely bright stone !

Many thanks, Philip from Nelson NZ


#13
Beautiful ring Leonid ! The trailer is wonderful, I will have to
get the full DVD !! A question, what is the central stone, is it a
spessartine garnet ? Its a lovely bright stone ! 

Yes, center stone is spessartine garnet. It is a native cut, so
setting is constructed slightly different from if it would be a
diamond.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#14

Today my copy of Leonid’s ballerina ring DVD arrived and I just
finished watching it. Leonid is to be commended for sharing his
knowledge, and for doing it with such style.

Most productions like this are put together by large crews. This is
quite something for one person to do.

As others have said, the ballerina ring is beautiful. It is a real
treat for anyone who is interested in fabrication to see it made
right before one’s eyes.

I’ve commented on the music in Leonid’s DVDs before. It is elegant.
It sets a mood, moves the video along, and draws you into it. It is
integral to the video and greatly increases one’s enjoyment of it.

The central point of this DVD is the technique Leonid shows for
doing extremely precise design layout and fabrication.

Anyone who is interested in learning advanced jewelry fabrication
would be well rewarded by owning and studying this DVD. Actually, it
is a treat to see for anyone who is interested in jewelry.

Neil A.