Thursday, July 23, 2015

Skyler's Week #4

Lots of exciting things happened in my 4th week with Monika! I continued some of my work on my wax ring but we eventually decided it would be best for me to start a new project - in gold! I had never worked with gold before but for those of you who do not know, it is a very easy material to work with. Typically I like to work in copper, brass or silver. These metals are inexpensive in comparison to gold, which is why they are suitable for a poor art student, but they do have their downfalls. Base metals or silver tend to firescale easily and they also are more difficult to solder. Gold on the other hand does not firescale and is easy to solder. So I was very excited experience this new material.
I talked with Monika at length about then different types of gold. She explained that 24K gold is 100% pure gold and any other amount, is just a percentage of 24. For example, 18K gold (which is 18/24) is 75% gold and 25% alloyed metal. This kind of gold is most typically used in fine jewelry making because it has the highest gold content without being too soft.
I thought about what I could make in gold and I decided if I was going to make my very first gold ring, I wanted to give it to my mom for her birthday that is coming up in August. So Monika agreed that would be a great idea and we then looked at stones I could set. She gave me an option of different Sapphires (which is my birthstone) and I picked out a beautiful pink one because that is my mom's favorite color.
Once I had all my material, I got to work creating the ring band and bezel. I was a little worried about working in gold because making a mistake in gold definitely costs more than making that same mistake in copper. Everything was going smoothly and it was very interesting to see all the skills I knew being used on a much more valuable material. The only setback I had was partially melting the bezel during soldering. This definitely bummed me out but Monika was very kind about it & encouraged me to make another. Currently My ring is ready for the stone to set and I'm excited to go back next week to put the final touches on my ring for my mom!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about the purity measurements in gold, very interesting. I never knew what it actually meant, all i knew was the higher the better!