Video about my work

20 June, 2006
I was asked to make a short video for the Saul Bell Awards about my work. In it I talk about my move to the Sunshine Coast in Australia, how the internet and CAD has enabled me to work remotely with clients from overseas, and also about the design process:

Handwriting engraving

1 April, 2006
Engraving handwritingA couple of people have asked me how I engrave a piece using a client's own handwriting. It's a fairly simple procedure. First of all I ask for a digital photo of the message written in their handwriting. I then clean up the the image, sharpen the script, scale it to fit the piece and create a mirror image of the message in Photoshop.  I can then print this out and iron the message on to my flat piece of metal before it's formed into a ring using a common household iron. Then it's just a case of carefully engraving over the script.

Creating Janet's ring

28 February, 2005

This example shows how Janet's ring was made using CADCAM.

I designed a number of rings with CAD and sent Janet renderings of the rings from different angles. Designing and making a piece with CAD means that both the person comissioning the piece and I can see exactly how the final piece will look. We have agreed on the precise dimensions of the piece and the renderings give us a good feel for how well the choice of metal and stones will work together.
Once we had finalised the design, the CAD file was e-mailed to a casting company ( who milled my design from wax.

CAD Rendering Milling Centre section Finished centre section

From this milled wax model they produced a one-off cast of the design in 18k White gold.
I was very keen that in casting this piece we didn't forfeit the crisp high quality finish achievable with a completely hand fabricated piece. For this reason the ring was milled and cast in three pieces (the two sides and the centre section) and I then hand polished and soldered the pieces together.
The final result is as good as if it had been fabricated from scratch, and the time saving meant that the ring became far more affordable than if it had been completely hand made.

Milled waxes ready for casting 18k castings Finished ring

Creating the 'Three of us' ring

29 October, 2004

Clients are often interested in how a piece of jewelry is made. My pieces are either made completely by hand from sheet and wire, or a one off cast is made using CADCAM technology. I employ whichever method will give me the highest standard of fit and finish. The following illustrates how the 'Three of us' ring was made by hand from white gold.

The 'Three of us' ring was designed with CAD, but fabricated by hand from metal sheet and wire. Here are some pictures of its fabrication.

A CAD Rendering of the chosen design Forming the ring shank around mandrel with mallet Filing the cups in which the stones will sit.
Sawing a round disk for the bottom of the cups. Doming the round disk with a dapping block and dapping punch. Soldering the dome to the bottom of the cup.
Burring seats for the cups. Soldering the cups to the shank.  
After the seats for the sapphires have been burred and the insides of the cups polished, the sapphires are carefully hammer set in place using hammer setting tools. The finished ring.

Argentiumâ„¢ Sterling Silver

21 January, 2003

I read an interesting article on about a new silver alloy called Argentium.

Argentium™ Sterling Silver is a registered and patented alloy developed by trained silversmith and tutor Peter Johns at Middlesex University England.

The alloy, unlike standard Sterling Silver is tarnish resistant. Any faint tarnish that may develop can be easily removed with ordinary water and a sponge.

The alloy is also resistant to firestain, a purple stain which occurs in Sterling Silver when it is heated during fabrication. Firestain spoils the high shine of a silver object and can take hours to emery away.

Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. 100% silver would be too soft to be used for jewelry purposes, so copper is added in order to produce a harder alloy. However the copper within Sterling Silver oxidizes when heated, causing a purple stain just under the surface of the metal.
Argentium™ Sterling Silver contains 1.2% Germanium which reduces this purple firestain.

For more information on Argentium Silver see