Friday, May 28, 2010

Bedtime Stories for the Artlover: Touching a Ruby by Scott Schreiber, Two Claws Jewelry

Bed Time Stories is a regular feature on my blog. I  select and publish exceptional pieces of art with interesting stories that tie each piece into a strong context  with society, history, people and provide insight into the inner workings of the artist's mind. I hope that it will provide an understanding of art in a plain language, that is so sadly missing from many collections and publications. If you got one that you would like to share, please send me a message!

This is an old one. It's got stuck in my mind for the past two years or so, and today I understood why (sorry Scott, it took so long, I am also over that innocent age) :  We are pushing the button ( or more correctly keep pushing it even if that does not make sense), touching the button, even looking at the button, but do we see it? Do we care what we are missing while we want our instant coffee with instant love?


Touching a Ruby, originally uploaded by Two Claws Jewelry.
© Two Claws Jewelry All rights reserved. 

    In case you were wondering, this one surely passes for puclic art, provoactive art or guerilla art and a good one at that IMHO, even if it is not the spit-in-your-face kind. So here it goes:

  "This Crossing button is right outside my house. I made a custom-fit brass bezel to fit over the original one and set a cabochon Madagascar Ruby in it. It gives me pleasure every time I see little kids trying, without success, to get their moms to look at the pretty red button.  It just tickles me that people don't know they're banging away at a genuine ruby! I get a lot of foot traffic at this corner and believe me, adults just don't even glance at it....teen girls, sometimes....but many little kids (it's at eye-level for them) really scrutinize it. It always has amused me that people of all ages don't push these buttons just once....(which is all you have to do) They'll push it as many times as they can 10, 30, 50 times, until the walk sign changes.

     As far as the fitting goes....I took the measurement of the existing button and turned the cap/bezel exactly so that it was just shy of an extremely close fit. I also turned the seat for the ruby and tightened it by spinning it and pressing a vaseline covered burnisher against the edge of the bezel. Then I heated it up to just under red heat, ran out to the corner like a crazy man (at 3 AM....) and shoved it on with my fingers protected with welding gloves. It worked great and stuck fast. Then I had to rub it out with a little tripoli cloth to remove a little heat scale. The original button spun around freely, so this means that torque will be ineffective if someone wants it.....they'll have to pry it off. If that's the case...they're welcome to it."

Scott Schreiber is a great jewelry artist, a top notch goldsmith, a cat-fan with an encyclopedic knowledge about jewelry making, odd tools and insects. Please visit his Flickr album to feast your eyes! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Technorati submission - a new experience

I wrote this blog entry because Technorati , a blog directory , needed to verify that I am the author of this blog (see below). I will never get old and bored, since I am learning something completely new and totally irrelevant ( at least to my work) everyday. I wonder where we would be if our ancestors needed to be so self sufficient and well versed in every discipline of their time. I used to admire great polyhistors since they knew "everything" : math, sciences, theology, art and whatnot. Today, however we are swamped with minuscule duties to manage every day, it is a miracle that some of us still can create! 

Since I swore, that I would never publish a blog without a picture, here is one of my latest work, a custom ring for a beautiful concave brilliant TM sapphire cut by award winning gem artist Richard Homer.

May 27, 2010. Technorati will need to verify that you are an author of the blog by looking for a unique code. Please put the following short code*******  within a new blog post and publish it. Once it is published, use the "Verify Claim Token" button to tell Technorati your blog is ready for verification.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Your ultimate guide to buying and pricing handmade jewelry. Part 2.

This entry is going to put the basic definitions in  Part 1 to use as we continue to explore the intricacies of jewelry valuation.

Let's make four identical rings (see picture above): one from fine silver, one from fine ( or  pure) gold (24K), one from 14K gold and one from pure platinum. Although the rings have identical geometry, their weight will be very different due to the difference in  the density of the four metals. (The following table contains simplifications to make it easier to follow). Every ring has a volume of 0.576 cc.

                    The     silver   (Density:10.5 gr/cc) ring will weight :   6.1 gr or 3.92 dwt
                    The     24K    (Density:19.3 gr/cc) ring will weight : 11.1 gr or 7.13 dwt
                    The     14K    (Density:12.9 gr/cc) ring will weight :   7.4 gr or 4.76 dwt
                    The Platinum  (Density:21.4 gr/cc) ring will weight : 12.3 gr or 7.91 dwt

Here comes the tricky question: What is the weighth of the precious metal in each of the above rings. You could say - Hey, it ain't tricky, we just calculated that !

Or did we?
The silver   ring is pure silver, and it will have                                        3.92 dwt of silver content
The  24K   ring is pure gold, consequently it will have                                         7.13 dwt of gold content
The 14K   ring contains only 58.33% (by weighth) gold, consequently it will have 2.77 dwt gold content
The Plat  ring  is pure platinum, consequently it will have                                      7.91 dwt plat. content

Only one task left for today, and that is to  calculate how much money we need to spend on the precious
metals market if we want to make these rings.

Note: this is only one part of the PRODUCTION COSTS as you will see next time when we dig even deeper into the dark realities of life!

At the moment of writing this, the NY spot stands at (remember 1 TO=20 dwt):
                              Gold  : $1202.20/TO
                              Silver : $17.97/TO
                              Plat    : $1523.00/TO

From here it is just easy math:

The silver ring will cost    $ 3.52
The  24K   ring will cost  $ 428.58
The 14K   ring will cost   $ 166.50
The Plat  ring will cost     $ 602.35

One more interesting thing: If we could go back in time and purchased the metals fo rthis project in 2005, we could get away with the following costs:

The silver ring   $ 1.39
The  24K         $ 149.00
The 14K          $ 57.89
The Plat           $ 340.00

See you next time!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

CAD to finish

Here are some photos of  custom designs I made with the help of CAD and the finished pieces side by side. CAD is very useful in designing jewelry as well as presenting the design to the customer. The pieces are then created by the most appropriate and cost efficient method: sometimes the CAD files are sent to a company to produce a wax model on a rapid prototyping machine or on a CNC mill. Alternatively I can hand carve a model from wax . In either case the model is used in the lost wax casting process to produce a metal object that is then finished by hand. In some cases when it is economically feasible and technically possible I fabricate the piece directly from sheet metal and other basic components according to the blue print made in the CAD software.

© Pal Gooz All rights reserved. 
Wedding ring : Rubelite tourmaline Torusring TM by Glenn Lehrer ,  Lehrer Designs Inc. . Diamonds
Designed in CAD, hand carved, cast in platinum 950 and 18K YG

© Pal Gooz All rights reserved. 
 Euroshank wedding band: canary diamond.
Designed in CAD, handcarved, cast in PD 950

© Pal Gooz All rights reserved.   
 Palladium ring, natural light yellow sapphire, Oval Concave Brilliant TM cut by Richard Homer of concavegems .
  Designed in CAD, rapid prototyped, cast in PD950


 © Pal Gooz All rights reserved.
Engagement ring, Aquamarine Square Cushion Concave Apex TM cut by Richard Homer of concavegems , diamonds 
Designed in CAD, hand  fabricated from palladium 950 and 18K royal yellow gold


Friday, May 21, 2010

Bedtime stories for the Artlover (Part 1): Secret in the Forest Box by 2Roses

Bed Time Stories will be a regular feature on my blog. I will select and publish exceptional pieces of art with interesting stories that tie each piece into a strong context  with society, history, people and provide insight into inner workings of the artists mind. I hope that it will provide an understanding of art in a plain language, that is so sadly missing from many collections and publications. If you got one that you would like to share, please send me a message!

So here it about an old house, two ferocious artists and an urban gang by 2Roses jewelry    :

Secret in the Forest Box, originally uploaded by 2Roses Jewelry. Media: Plum boughs, Honduran mahogany. Lined with California redwood. The box also features a secret compartment.Size: 9.5”L x 4”W x 6”H.
 © 2Roses Jewelry All rights reserved.

"  Lots of things came together to make this box. The plum wood was harvested from a tree on our property. As I was trimming the tree, the red color of the bark was just too pretty to trash.
    The mahogany was salvaged from a historical Southern California home slated for demolition due to urban renewal. The home was built in 1895 by a wealthy industrialist and featured many luxuries and technological advancements for the time, including the first alarm system installed in a home. The home was featured in the first issue of Architectural Digest in 1920.
   The curator of the local Historical Society obtained permission from the City Council for 2Roses to reclaim the wood just hours before the entire house was bulldozed. We received that permission in a phone call at 10:30 pm. The bulldozers were scheduled to start the teardown at 7 am the next morning. 
   By the time we got our tools together and rushed to the house, two gangs of thieves were already at work striping the copper plumbing out of the walls. Things got pretty confrontive when we showed up. The thieves were from different local hispanic gangs and they had already worked out a truce to strip the house. They saw us a rival gang trying to intrude on their turf and they were ready to throw down to defend it.
  We eventually convinced them that we were from the historical society and really didn't care about the copper pipes, that we were after the woodwork. The gangbangers thought this was hilarious that the "blancos" would come out in the middle of the night to steal old wood. They actually ended up helping us a bit. "

About 2Roses Jewelry :

"2 Roses is artistic collaboration between jewelry designers Corliss Rose, and John Rose. The studio is driven by the principles of exploration and experimentation. 2 Roses have made their mark on American Art Jewelry with a individualistic style that has combined a dizzying array of highly unorthodox materials and techniques ranging from the medieval to the space-age."
 " 2Roses world-class inventory management system ensures our Just-In-Time manufacturing process meets global demand for stuff. "
 © 2Roses Jewelry All rights reserved.

Corliss and John are truly eclectic, imaginative and very creative people buzzing with life and humor. Their art simply cannot fit any box as they are ready to play with anything that crosses their path. 
The following is a little sample, randomly selected from their extensive body of work.

  © 2Roses Jewelry All rights reserved.
  © 2Roses Jewelry All rights reserved.