Hand-crafted Knot Jewelry:
Decorative Marlingspike Seamanship rendered in precious metal.
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Here is a brief overview of one method used in my ring-making. In this case, making a platinum ring, it is necessary to get as much of the rest of the work done as possible before risking the more expensive and more difficult to handle platinum.
As it is very easy to work with silver, I frequently make a silver prototype just to check out my "guess" as to the size of the ring. Before I clumsily broke the silver wire I was using, I had intended this prototype to be a combination ring, in my display, but now its fate is to have its entire structure replaced, bit by bit, first the silver with more twisted yellow gold, then the center strand with platinum.

Notice that two of the leads have one silver strand and two gold, two others have one gold and two silver. The needle is going through the fifth lead where the silver was, and where the gold will follow.
Silver and gold ring, first pass of replacement.
Another shot of first pass. Here it is without the needle. You can see the strand of silver and the strand of twisted gold poking up away from the knot, there on the left. On the right, you can see the two ends trailing away, from where I broke the silver wire and just stuck another piece in as a placeholder.
Once the twisted gold has replaced more than half the silver, it becomes simpler to just remove the rest of it, outright. You can see a little heap of the bits of silver that came out, and their condition illustrates the stresses the wire undergoes in being tied and untied. The platinum wire could never make it through such a process, which is why it goes in last. Silver out, gold in.
Another shot of first pass. Just as I replaced the silver outer strand with the twisted yellow gold, I begin to replace the twisted inner strand with the platinum. You can see, on the left, where the gold strand is projecting out and off to the left. Behind it, the platinum is pointing up. I try very hard to keep it straight and bend it as little as possible while inserting it, but it still gets harder and harder as the work progresses.
Okay, almost done. The platinum strand is completely inserted, the twisted gold center strand has been removed and will probably end up being melted down, due to the damage it sustained while I untied it. You can see the ends of the wires, up at the top, still waiting to be trimmed off evenly and hidden beneath the other leads. Another shot of first pass.

(This site last updated on 12-11-2017)

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