Seed Pods (RAW52.11)

This week, I decided to stay with the hollow forms, although I’m starting to think I should work a bit with gemstones or at least more complex hollow forms. I’ve made versions of this ring in the past, and I quite like the in-between-fingers rings. The ring represents simplified lotus seed pods, and presents another chance to incorporate bronze.

Ring a Week #11The construction is quite simple: two half spheres topped with varying sizes of bronze balls. A lot of fun to make and no major hitches. Since I’ve made these before, I now know to drill a little cup for each ball to sit in before I solder them on. This way, I don’t end up with runaway bronze balls.

However, I had a big problem with the photography. I usually like to photograph my jewelry against a white background, but no matter what setting or angle I tried, I could not get a decent picture. I finally switched to a dark gray background, and a black duvetyne.  That seemed to work much better.

Ring a Week #11I think it was really difficult to capture the contrast between the silver and bronze colors. No matter, the ring looks gorgeous on the hand.

Ring a Week #11What did I learn this week?

  • You have to keep trying until you get a good picture
  • To get more depth of field, set the ISO higher (thanks Mark!)

See you next week…(and it’s a doozy!)

4 Responses to “Seed Pods (RAW52.11)”

  1. Catherine Witherell

    NEXT week’s ring is a doozy? This one qualifies for me but I have never soldered or balled up bronze. I really love this ring. Because of you I bought some bronze sheet in may gauges. I already have lots of wire. Now to figure out how to work with it.

    Do you have to use flux when you ball these up to get them smooth?

    I will try tomorrow!

    • Carole Zakkour

      Hi Catherine,
      These are actually bronze casting grain that I get from Rio Grande. It is called “Ancient Bronze” and has no zinc in it. It has a lovely reddish tinge to it. I used to make my own balls before and did not use flux, just on a charcoal bloc, and they come out pretty smooth. I’ve been looking for some similar bronze sheet, but have had no luck (mostly I find the more yellow color that has zinc.) What kind did you get?
      As far as working with it, I do as I would with copper or brass, so it’s actually a lot easier than silver. One note on pickling bronze (or brass), in the normal pickle, they get red like copper, so I take some of my pickle and add an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide. That seems to do the trick.
      Let me know how your grain came out…

  2. Catherine Witherell

    Oh well casting grain, that’s interesting. I found bronze sheet in two places and I’m not exactly sure that it is the kind without zinc. I just took a chance on it since it wasn’t too expensive. One was “The Whimsie Studio” here:

    which I got in 30 gauge and 24 gauge. First I used some 30 gauge and fold formed it, going through the hammer and annealing process about 4 or 5 times and then pickling at the end only. It DID look like copper and so I took a brass brush and brushed the heck out of it and it is just gorgeous and definitely looks warm like bronze, not like brass. I have yet to use the 24 gauge. It does look somewhat yellower than the 30 gauge.

    The other place I found some is at “Objects and Elements” here:

    It’s the shop associated with Susan Lenart Kazmer and there I found Bronze sheet in 18, 20 and 22 gauge but much smaller cuts like only 3×3 inch squares but what the heck I am only experimenting right now. At the moment they are out of stock but the woman there told me she was in the process of ordering more. And I only see the 20 and 22 gauge listed so you’d have to ask her if she plans to get the 18 gauge back in.

    Thanks Carole for sharing what you know. I appreciate it a lot!


    • Carole Zakkour

      Thank you Catherine! I’ll check the sources, maybe I get lucky….
      I do believe in sharing knowledge and information, there are so many little things that you can’t learn from a teacher or a book!


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