Making, Metalsmithing

Octopus setting ring

The ‘octopus setting’ is basically a series of textured jump rings (little circles of wire) sitting on top of the ring band. Every jump ring has to be made the correct size for the gems, and then each gem needs to be individually set.

I’ve spent the last few days wrestling with this project from Lucy Walker Jewellery online classes. No complaints – it’s been hard but I’ve also learned a ton. The flush setting practice from last weekend was really key to figuring this out.

The version Lucy shows in the advertising and in the course uses a heavy silver band and then gold for the settings. I love that look! But the price of gold is even more insane than the price of silver rights now. So, for my first attempt, I decided to use silver on silver, with cubic zirconia.

Here is a little test of all the settings before I begin attaching them to the ring:

Here is the initial set up, before I started drilling out the settings:

Here is how it turned out (keep in my that my photograph hides all the most egregious flaws!):

That said, for a first attempt, it wasn’t terrible , and I am really enjoying wearing it. The heft of 14 gauge silver is noticeable. I learned a lot from doing the project end to end, but of course there is still lots more to learn. The jump ring settings are supposed to be textured, but I really couldn’t get that to work. Lots of other flaws too – the last jump ring I was doing fell off after I drilled a hole through it (ack!), so that was a minor catastrophe.

As with anything like this, now that I’ve done the whole thing beginning to end, I’m feeling confident and looking forward to trying it again. Though, I will probably stick with silver for at least one more ring before going for the gold. 🙂

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