Insert something clever about jewelry-making suppliers.
March 9, 2009 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Jewelry-making supplies: I am looking for a specific type of plain, basic ring to work with. The interwebs have not been forthcoming.

This ring is similar to what I'm looking for.

I want to find a supplier of wide, flat bands, which (unlike the example) are open-ended and therefore somewhat adjustable. I'm interested in all metals, especially gold/ gold plated/ gold tone.

I'd also like to know what it's like working with gold and silver clays if anyone has experience to share.
posted by hellboundforcheddar to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
At Fire Mountain Gems, they have adjustable ring bases. But, most of these have loops to attach something to it (to make a dangle-type ring). Are you looking for one that has no loops?
posted by Houstonian at 1:17 PM on March 9, 2009

Rio Grande has the broadest stock of jewelry supplies that I've run across online. Here are some open-ended ring shanks that might fit your criteria. It used to be necessary to call their customer service number to set up an account to access their online catalog, but it looks like they've dropped that requirement now.

I've been playing around with silver clay lately - watching it turn from clay to silver gives me a little alchemist rush. It dries very quickly, so your working time is short and I've found I need to plan out exactly what I need to do by making polymer clay prototypes before opening the metal clay.

The clay shrinks when fired, so if rings are your primary interest, you'll need to account for the change in size when you fire it. Small metal clay items like pendants can be fired with a little butane torch, but rings need to be fired in a kiln to ensure higher strength and even heating. There's a Metal Clay group on Yahoo Groups that is the best forum I've found online - the artists and teachers who offer up advice there are really experienced and share generously.
posted by zepheria at 1:46 PM on March 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

Houstonian: I'm looking for w/out any features, but thanks for the link to Fire Mountain.

Zepheria: The silver rings you linked are very close to what I'm looking for- have you ever seen ring shanks that were gold/ gold tone and thinner? Any wrap-around styles?
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 1:54 PM on March 9, 2009

You could buy the metal in sheets and form it into the rings you want.
posted by Tenuki at 2:32 PM on March 9, 2009

Metal clay is good if you want to make closed rings of any size, but if you want them to be adjustable, I've found that silver clay is not very flexible once fired. There's also a learning curve, so if you need the items urgently, you might try pre-fab (sorry, don't have any suggestions on those other than calling local bead shops).
posted by fructose at 2:54 PM on March 9, 2009

Seconding Tenuki.

You will also need a mandrel for making rings. A good rawhide or plastic mallet would also be good.

You might also look for precious metal tubing. I spent a few minutes searching, but couldn't find tubing in a large enough diameter.
posted by gregr at 3:04 PM on March 9, 2009

You could start with a closed band and cut it open with a frame saw (also available from Rio Grande).
posted by yohko at 10:28 PM on March 9, 2009

A wide band is not going to be flexible enough to be an adjustable ring, which is probably why you can't find one.

Also, making a band ring requires more tools than just a mandrel and mallet. The metal would have to be annealed first to be flexible enough, which requires an acetylene torch or a propylene torch. You would also need a saw, files, polishing equipment, etc.. It's really something you would want to take a class for.
posted by free pie at 7:51 AM on March 10, 2009

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