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A Ring for Mom

Kate Wilcox-Leigh Mom's Ring Finished 7

The last finished piece that left my bench was possibly the last piece of jewelry that I will create for my mom. I hope I’m wrong but I feel the need to consider this as a possibility. My parents have lived in an assisted living facility for the past year and I have become increasingly protective of how they and their belongings are cared for. An emerald earring from a pair I had made for my mother recently disappeared.  Is it so wrong for me to want her to have nice things?  The thought of her engagement ring, a family heirloom, going missing is heartbreaking. On the other hand it is her ring and she should be able to wear it unconditionally, if it turns up missing so be it?  The three of us discussed it and decided that I would store her ring in a safe place and create a ring for her to wear in its place.

Not being allowed to visit them since March 12th , my only opportunity to get the switch done was on March 24th. This was the day my sister was allowed to be present while mom was evaluated for hospice.

Kate Wilcox-Leigh Mom's Ring Parts on Bench 1

So I set up making the replica out of gold filled half round wire, a sterling silver setting and a CZ. It was my first time working with gold filled metal so that was a little bit of a different process.  The outcome was an almost perfect replica of her heirloom ring. I did leave some blemishes on it so as not to polish through the layer of gold.

Kate Wilcox-Leigh Mom's Ring Progress 4

The swap went smoothly. Mom’s wearing her beautiful ring and our family has one less thing to worry about. 

Jewelry holds so much meaning to me. Each day I select pieces to wear based on whom or what I feel my attention needs to be focused on. 

Jewelry has a unique power to symbolize a meaningful occasion, life event or a significant person in our lives. We choose what we wear on our body. It touches us in ways both emotional and physical. This is why I share this with you today, not to say oh woe is me, I’m going through a difficult time now.  Making this piece is my way to show love and honor to my parents, the two most important people in my life.  The two people who gave me life and molded me into the person I am today.

I love you Mom and Dad XO  

I would love to hear a story about a cherished piece of jewelry in your collection.  Comment below or direct message me if you’d like to share.  Enjoyed what you’ve read here today? I invite to you to the sign up for the newsletter here.  I aim for at least one email a month highlighting what I’ve been up to at the bench, future shows and events I’ll be participating in and information I think would interest you.

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Custom Belt Buckle Part Two

The finish work is next in the process to complete the custom belt buckle

Here is a basic idea of my process

  • I filed the soldered joins to make sure the excess solder was removed.
  • Next the parts needed to be gone over with a few grits of wet/dry sand paper.

Papered and ready for polishing by Kate Wilcox-Leigh

Papered and Ready For Polishing

  • I then polished the pieces with Tripoli followed by Rouge
  • Final assembly was done once I was satisfied with the finish

  Finished Buckle by Kate Wilcox-Leigh

  Polished and Assembled

  • The “Finished Belt Blank” arrived needing holes and trimming
  • Once the leather work was done the buckle was put on the belt

 

Custom Buckle On Belt by Kate Wilcox-Leigh

Completed Buckle On Belt

I was quite pleased with the finished product and so was the customer!

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Custom Belt Buckle Part One

A customer approached me with a request to recreate a custom belt buckle they had unfortunately lost some time ago.

All custom pieces begin with a conversation.  Once the designer and the customer agree on the specifications work can begin.

  • I started out using straight round wire stock in the correct gauge.
  • I formed it into the circle then soldered it using the rosebud tip on my mini torch.
  • The next steps were to cut the bar, fit it and solder it in place.

Process Torch

Smith Little Torch with Rosebud melting tip used for soldering the buckle

  •  The tang was then formed from a smaller size stock.

Custom buckle placed on sketch

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photo of the soldered buckle placed over the sketch

Look for the next blog post about the finished piece coming soon!