Blythe pull rings

I made my own pull rings! 131/366
My very first project using the lost wax casting technique. I thought it would be a sweet idea to make little pull rings for these collector’s dolls.

Blythe pull rings, cast and ready for finishing
This was how I got them back. Actually cost a bomb each ($9.50), mainly for the casting service fee. I ordered the two rings in bronze and the teardrop in brass.

Would anyone be interested
These were hand-carved, cast and then hand-finished to a shine.
The Blythe/Twiggy inspired pull rings have a bevelled edge.
I can get these cast in brass or sterling silver (much dearer in cost). If no one’s interested, I might just give up on this. It’s not very economical unless I order more than 10 at once… but there is a very nice weight to them and they’re so pretty!

Large bevelled pull ring 7.8 grams (bronze)
Small bevelled pull ring 5.8 grams (bronze)
Teardrop 9.1 grams (brass)
I suspect brass is a tad bit heavier and denser than bronze.

Bronze equals disaster
I didn’t realise Bronze tarnishes in minutes when it touches water! The first time it happened, I had it tumbled for hardness, rinsed off and I left it to dry naturally. Came back 20 minutes later and it had green spots that were impossible to come off. Back to the polishing lathe… Second go, I needed to remove the soot left by the lathe, so I popped it into my ultrasonic. After 5 minutes, I picked them out and they were like this. I give up! I’m never making anything in bronze again.

Brass and bronze comparison
Brass and bronze come very close in colour, with brass just a bit more yellow and bronze is covered in patches of red tarnish. I had high hopes for that metal.

We’ll see if any one is interested, otherwise I’ll just make them only for myself.
You can register your interest by contacting me (see sidebar).

Ring project

I now have a Flickr Pro account! I can now blog faster and embed my photos so I won’t have to upload them. Hah. I should have done this a lot earlier.

Project 2: Russian wedding ring Soldering Rings, soldered and formed into circles Surface is still rough and unfinished Two rings cut open and re-soldered
Project 2: Russian wedding ring. So, the rings come from wire. The wire has a D profile shape. They are cut into the right lengths, then bent up and the two ends must face each other flat. This makes the ring an odd shape, but not to worry. After soldering the joints, the rings are hammered on a mandrel to make them round. Then two of the rings are cut open again, so they can be interlocked and re-soldered. Once that’s done, the rings are cleaned up by hand.

Texture Finished Russian wedding ring
Left image shows the ring, hand sanded to remove nicks and blemishes. I have also sandblasted one of the rings to give it a texture. The right image shows the ring complete, after being polished in the vibratory tumbler for about 2 hours. It looks so flawless. Only I know where the flaws are! lol.

Finished Russian wedding ring So shiny
So shiny! Fits great, but I must admit that I wanted it just a tiny bit larger, to fit on my right hand ring finger during summer. Next time, I’ll add 1mm to the wire lengths. Rings are very sensitive and my measuring was not perfect.

Jewellery/Metalsmithing Class

I started my metalsmithing jewellery class 3 weeks ago, and at first I hated sawing metal. It was hard on my hands and I felt it was very messy and dirty. After 3 lessons, I’ve finished my first project, a brass brooch. Now I can say that I do enjoy it for the most part. It’s rewarding to have a piece of jewellery completed. It looks easy, but believe me, it takes more work. I believe it took me 6 hours to make this, a lot of the time is spent on filing and using different grades of sand paper to even out straight lines and curves. I hope I can make more at home when I have the equipment.

Anyway, on to the photos.

I love the sandblasted texture. I even put it on the back. The pin was once shiny, like a regular brooch pin back that’s glued or sewn on. I thought this would be the best finish since I can’t do this myself at home. I may be able to make a piece into a high polish if I get a rotary tool. The class uses a polishing wheel. It’s huge, and no way I could ever afford one!


It wasn’t easy to refine the curved holes. They’re still a little wonky. Luckily sandblasting hides many of the flaws. :)

The next project is a silver Russian wedding ring. I’ve taken some work-in-progress pics this time, and I’ll continue to do so until I finish the final piece. Not sure what the last project will be. It could be a bracelet.

Future Plans

Inspired by my friend Juanita and her recent blog post, I decided to play, too!

Early 2010, I wanted to:

  • Get a job
  • Continue German class

End of 2010, I have done neither!! I didn’t like learning German in Switzerland, maybe because of the lousy school I attended for one session. The other expensive school was always intimidating. They boasted to mainly have university graduates and bilinguals as students. They made me take a placement test. Their class “entry points” were few and far between. I would plan to start the class, but never did once the time came. As for jobs, we all know that it’s almost impossible to get employment overseas without having the right visa. I was also under-qualified, as everyone else had Masters degrees. I also don’t enjoy doing something I’m not interested in.

Plans for December 2010 and early 2011:

  • Become a full time, self-proclaimed artisan
  • Register my jewellery home business
  • Continue once-a-week German class at the Goethe Institute, at my own leisure (there’s no rush any more, is there?)
  • Take a simple silver smithing short course in December at Monash
  • Take more detailed metal smithing courses at NMIT in February
  • Sell at Rose St. Artists Market, Fitzroy
  • Earn money

We’ll see how many goals I fulfil.