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Buying Quality

Posted June 22, 2015 

When you buy a piece of Isabel Jewelry you are buying handmade quality with a lifetime guarantee. I realize that there are piles of cheap jewelry that I compete with every day but I know what I am producing is carefully and individually made…because I make each piece. Like all micro-businesses I have to compete with factory made products. Knowing this, I like to keep my jewelry small pieces of artwork.

Some companies use flashy marketing campaigns to push lower quality jewelry, it’s hard not to get convinced by beautifully produced commercials and print ads that their commercial jewelry is more valuable. People wind up paying for a company’s marketing rather than quality artistry. When my customers buy from me, they are paying for top-notch, handcrafted jewelry that I guarantee for life and I am proud of that.

I have been metalsmithing for 20 years now and I create hundreds of pieces of jewelry every year. I am very comfortable at my jewelry bench and love forming metal into tiny wearable art, my tools are extensions of my hands and I am happy when I am at work.

This Saturday, June 27, 2015, I will be having a 5-year anniversary party for my shop in Pinedale (you are invited!). I opened the doors five years ago and have been enjoying serving my community and travelers ever since. It’s a good life and I plan on continuing my work. I thank everyone that has ever bought a piece of jewelry from me, you mean the world to me.

Pictured at top: Wyoming jade & Sterling Silver pendants.

Pictured above: my Pinedale, Wyoming storefront.

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Two Into One: melting two rings together to make a new one.

Posted December 5, 2014 

I recently had the opportunity to make a wedding ring for a customer who wanted to combine a ring from her family and the groom’s family. She wanted to have them melted together to become one ring for her fiance. The two gold rings were her mother’s diamond engagement ring and his father’s wedding ring.

First I cut off the diamond cluster setting (and later reused that for her necklace) and put both rings into a crucible and melted them together.

Once they were a molten ball of gold, I carefully poured them into an ingot mold. The gold ingot cooled quickly in the mold because the thick cast iron of the mold pulls the heat out. I further quenched the ingot and cleaned it.

After it was clean, I began to roll it out in my rolling mill tool. I cranked the ingot through the rolling mill many times until it was about 1.5mm thick.

Once it was an even strip, I trimmed the ends to be flush right angles and began to bend the strip so the ends would meet. It always takes adjusting and filing to get the ends to meet perfectly across the entire length of the seam. Once they were lined up just right I soldered the seam with my torch and cleaned the ring.

Once I’ve joined the seam I slide the ring onto a ring mandrel and hammer it with a rawhide hammer until it is round. Then it is filed, sanded and polished to a smooth high polish finish.

With the diamond cluster, my customer wanted to repurpose that to become her necklace. I connected it to a long 14K gold chain that she will wear on her wedding day.