Making A Stoned Cuff
Making a cuff of this type generally takes me about a week to complete. The most difficult part for me, generally, is deciding what stone to use, and what size to make the cuff.
Once I have decided, I begin by cutting a strip of 20 gauge sterling silver about ¾” wide, and also 4 pieces of heavy triangular sterling silver wire, of which one of the angles is a right angle. With the right angles on the inside, I solder the triangle wire to the strip of sterling. This takes a lot of heat and a lot of solder. Then the excess is cut off and the corners beveled.
The strip annealed (heated to a temperature which makes the metal more malleable) and then bent into a cuff shape.
Pieces of heavy, 18 gauge sterling are cut to fit between the edges of the cuff. When the straight strip is bent into a cuff, it becomes curved not only horizontally, but also vertically. So the inner edge of these baffles has to conform as much as possible to this vertical curve, and the sides must meet the right angles of the triangle wire. After shaping, the baffles are soldered in place one at a time. The number of baffles or dividers is determined by the planned layout of the stone. This part of the fabrication takes me up to 12 hours.
Note: the next few pictures are of a different cuff made with the same process, as I did not take process photos for the cuffs shown initially, and this cuff was sold and is not available on the website presently.
Pieces from one or more slabs of stone are cut using lapidary equipment to fit as precisely as possible into the spaces created by the silver baffles, and are epoxied into the respective spaces. This can take up to 24 hours to complete, as each space is a different shape, and the stone must match the length and angle of the baffles as well as the curve of the cuff, both horizontally and vertically. This is the most challenging step in making this cuff.
The cuff with stones in place is left overnight for the epoxy to cure.
Using a series of diamond coated wheels of progressively finer grit,on a lapidary machine, The stone, and along with it the silver baffles, is ground down and polished. The remainder of the silver is sanded and polished to a high gloss.