The Poppy Ring
When a client approached us to build a ring for his soon-to-be fiancee, he wanted it encircled with her favorite flower, the poppy. But scanning the client's initial driwing, David saw a key problem: the poppy itself.
The clients drawing of his envisioned enggement ring depicted a classic poppy flower, its stem and leaves encircling the ring and complementing the central, cushion-cut stone. BUt we feared that the poppy's long, leafless stem and parsley-like leaves, if created literally, would be too spindly and small to make a standout desing element.
"I Sensed that to create a descernable and hamonious repeating pattern in the small space available to us, the flower probably needed a shorter stem and more prominent, less fern-line leaves than the poppy actually had."
Still, the client wanted the design to represent a poppy as much as possible, and that was our challenge: to paraphrase Shakespeare, we had to create a figurative poppy that, even in its different form, would look as sweet as the literal flower.
A later rendering illustrates how we adapted the design around the central diamond, penciling in shorter stems and more prominent leaves, which now nestle around the diamond and include more interesting details, such as a second tip on the leaves near the diamond. We also added smaller, bezel-set diamonds to the poppy flowers' centers.
in the final rendering, the stem and leaves now surround the center diamond, but also lead the eye to other leaf clusters and poppies farther away from the center.
We got to work with our CAD artist. As shown in one of the early renderings, we initiallyl tried following the client's original conception, and surrounded the central diamond with long stems. Though akin to the poppy's long, leafless stem, in metal it leaves much to be desired. The confirmed our concerns and we set about creating a more interesting leaf desin and de-emphasizing gthe stem surrounding the stone.
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Ultimately it was decided to create the ring entirely in white gold. Using an Envisiontec Perfacory machine, four castings were created; the base band and three design elements, with each element compristing a poppy flower along with the surrounding stem and leaves.
Once we had the castings in hand, we finished the base band with a satin finishing wheel. We then applied firecoat (borax and denatured alcohol) and flux and conventionally soldered the parts together; this was made easier by the fact that the underside of each design element contained pegs that fit into corresponding holes in the band. The pegs and holes ensured that the solder would stay under the flower and not leak onto the base ring.
Finally, we applied high-polish aspects to the raised portions of the flowers and leaves to give them greater depth and dimensionality. The rims also were given a high polish.
So did the finished ring end up looking as sweet? It appears so. The bride said yes, and she loved her ring's design so much that she later asked to have a similar ring created in yellow gold.