Saturday, June 07, 2008

Mechanical Rings

Steampunk Jewelry: EDM Designs - Trend Hunter

It's not uncommon to find mechanical watches that have an authentic steampunk look to them. Even contemporary mechanical watches maintain that look. I've seen hundreds of pocket and wrist watch movements and everything from the jewels used to hold certain parts in place to the machined main plates and coils simply scream steampunk. But I hadn't taken the idea further to think of using a mechanical movement itself as a piece of jewelry. While I can't say I'm all that keen on the shank design (personally I would have gone with a simple open filigreed upper shank with a circular machining for the bottom of the shank) I do love the idea. The greatest challenge to crafting a piece like this (well, one of them) is creating a curved base under the movement to maintain the circular shape of the ring. The other is soldering the damn thing together. Watch movements don't take kindly to heat. Beyond the problems of flame discoloration, there's the metallurgical problem of silver being a poor conductor of heat and needing a high temperature flame (something in the range of 1700 degree Fahrenheit, which, by the way, is a hundred degrees short of the temperature crematoriums use to burn human remains). Personally, I'd like to see a ladies watch movement set in 14k rose gold. The typical shape of a woman's watch movement from the 20s and 30s is a rectangle. I think it could work as a light, but unique ring.