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Hand-forge jewelers/artisans

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by cookiebuttermonster, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. cookiebuttermonster
    Rough_Rock

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    by cookiebuttermonster » Mar 27, 2016
    I'm wondering if there is anyone I'm missing. Or maybe there is someone new or lesser known? Or someone with an offbeat style who isn't usually mentioned?

    These are the jewelers I've heard about on here who do custom hand-forged jewelry.

    Leon Mege
    Victor Canera
    Steven Kirsch
    SingleStone
    23rd St (although I don't think they will do long distance?)
    Maytal Hannah
    ERD/BE
    CvB
    Lauren B
    Kate Szabone (though she does cad too)
     
    


    


  2. cookiebuttermonster
    Rough_Rock

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    by cookiebuttermonster » Mar 27, 2016
    There's also:
    McTeigue and McClelland, but they only do semi-custom.
    Van Craeynest, although that's die-struck

    And Sebastian Barier, but I think he's semi-custom too
     
  3. Resonance.Of.Life
    Brilliant_Rock

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  4. cookiebuttermonster
    Rough_Rock

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    by cookiebuttermonster » Mar 27, 2016
    ! I was just looking at her site yesterday. Somehow missed that she does hand-forged. Glad to add her to the list, her designs are beautiful.
     
    


    


  5. nojs
    Shiny_Rock

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    by nojs » Mar 28, 2016
    I'm sure there are many. I personally like to work with local goldsmiths. I'm happy to make and draft my own designs and just need someone skilled to carry out my plans. If you need an artist it might be a different :)
     
  6. Resonance.Of.Life
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Resonance.Of.Life » Mar 28, 2016
    I almost forgot, Vram in LA is hand-forged if I remember correctly.
     
  7. cookiebuttermonster
    Rough_Rock

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    by cookiebuttermonster » Mar 30, 2016
    Oh wow, I looked up Vram's instagram, and there is just something magical about his 3 and 5 stone settings. I'm not normally an Emerald cut fan, or a 5 stone gal, but wow. I wouldn't say no to this!

    9933f05e381d23594863df2b685a7486.jpg

    And this skin-tight bezel

    1508003_995793180439600_3544569277011034965_n.jpg

    I love the simplicity of his details. Enough for some interest, but not over-done. His style is very zen and calming.

    1a5a0367a073c821175c46ce40291dae.jpg
     
  8. liaerfbv
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by liaerfbv » Mar 30, 2016
    I thought CvB only did CAD?
     
  9. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondseeker2006 » Mar 30, 2016
    No, Caysie van Bebber has bench jewelers that do handforged. She just recently added an additional fabulous bench that does very high end work and they can do all hand forged, a combo of CAD-cast, or all CAD-cast. They made my new sapphire ring and the hand work is incredible, but I did not choose all hand-forged, because I wanted the symmetrical perfection CAD-cast. But my pieces were hand finished, hand assembled, and hand carved. It depends on what the design is whether I'd choose 100% handforged or not.

    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/heirloom-ec-sapphire-ring-by-caysie-van-bebber-cvb-and-lad.220793/
     
  10. liaerfbv
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by liaerfbv » Mar 31, 2016
    Good to know! I'll be interested to see when someone posts a totally handforged piece by her. Your ring is beautiful.
     
    


    


  11. PierreBear
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by PierreBear » Mar 31, 2016
    Great list... Does anyone know within those talented artists what their specialty would be? Specifically, I'm looking for vintage style ring (bezeled ring with a halo) and it would be wonderful to know out of this list people would personally go to. From my understanding, the options could be Victor Canera, Singlestone, Erika Winters, CvB.... Did I miss anyone?
     
  12. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondseeker2006 » Mar 31, 2016
    Can you show us a picture of what exactly you are looking for? I'd eliminate Singlestone right off the bat because they are too expensive and others can do what they do just as well. Look at the pictures of the styles of rings these people make, because I consider all three to be different and would go to each for different things.

    Victor is outstanding for elegant pave halos and does do some antique style designs, all handforged.

    https://www.victorcanera.com/rings/engagement (click on halo, it wouldn't let me link the halo page, for some reason)

    CVB is an artist and is excellent at antique designs, and she has a couple of outstanding benches:

    https://www.facebook.com/cvbinspired/photos

    Erika Winters line is very modern and unique with things like brushed metal along with touches of antique elements:

    https://www.facebook.com/erikawintersjewels/photos
     
  13. PierreBear
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by PierreBear » Mar 31, 2016
    Diamondseeker - You've been following my threads and were the one who already pointed me to those that you listed. I'm still on the search to figure out what I really want to get but so far I think it might be a bezeled halo look. Thanks again though to make sure I've contacted all the right people. You are also correct that SS pricing is the most expensive and I'm not sure if it's more the brand name or what it's attributed to.
     
  14. Resonance.Of.Life
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Resonance.Of.Life » Mar 31, 2016
    Having owned a Single Stone halo, I can assure you the price was worth every penny. Everything stands up to a macro lens and I am extremely picky about my settings. I've seen cast/cad halos for almost 10k and my SS was much lower than that in cost. I am not into designer handbags or designer accessories, but I will say I am into very fine jewelry despite that the rest of my wardrobe is pretty much anthro and not "high end." to me, that's what makes a ring really pop besides the diamond of course, the uniqueness and impeccable quality of the ring itself.
     
  15. PierreBear
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by PierreBear » Apr 1, 2016
    Thanks to all for sharing their perspective and sorry to hi-jack the thread.

    Question - Does Grace from Jewels by Grace also do hand-forge work? Is she affiliated to Erika Winters? Any difference in craftsmanship between the two?
     
    


    


  16. sharonp
    Rough_Rock

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    by sharonp » Apr 1, 2016
    That list has quite a varying level of skill, price, and specialization in certain styles. Hand forged is a very ambiguous term which means different things to different people . Much more important than the fabrication method is the skill of the bench, finishing, and their experience with the particular setting style you are after. Certain settings are better done from hand worked metal(if you can afford the cost), while others are better from CAD/CAST.

    You would be much better off with a specific setting style in mind and a budget and then finding out who would be recommended rather than on getting quotes from all of these vendors.
     
  17. Resonance.Of.Life
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Resonance.Of.Life » Apr 2, 2016

    Jewels by Grace does not, she does carry Erika Winter's line who does hand-forged pieces as well as cad/cast. Ask specifically for what the vendor means by hand-forged as it is ambiguous. For me, it means the entire piece has been created from platinum without the use of cads or cast. Hand-finishing or even assembling cast pieces is not remotely hand-forged in my eyes . I am certain that hand finishing cad/cast pieces is a standard.
     
  18. yssie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by yssie » Apr 2, 2016
    Completely agree with this advice.

    Figure out the design you want. It doesn't have to be a vision in the back of your mind, but the general style.
    Figure out who you want to work with. This should be a vendor with whom you're comfortable communicating, and who has pieces in his/her portfolio that match the look and feel you're going for.
    Trust the vendor you did your homework in choosing. If your vendor prefers to hand-forge, trust that recommendation. If your chosen vendor prefers to cast, trust that he/she has suggested this method of manufacture over others for good reason (for some pieces like trellis designs casting will turn a more aesthetically pleasing product than any of the handforging-only vendors on that list would produce).


    It depends. Having gone down the Must Be Handforged road myself, I'm now a firm advocate of "whatever works best for that vendor for that setting".
     
  19. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 2, 2016
    Some handforged ring makers will provide CADs even if the ring is going to be 100% handforged. It is just a step up from a hand drawing to help you even better visualize the finished product from all angles. I think that is a huge help, personally, when you want to be sure the proportions are what you have in mind. They are just pictures. It doesn't have to have anything to do with casting. And casting is not a bad thing when it is done well and very high quality. I can guarantee you the branded designer jewelers cast many of their pieces!

    I'd go handforged for a pave halo ring like the Emilya any day, but the antique style ring I just had made was perfection the way it was made. You can sometimes get more elaborate galleries, for example, with cast.

    I 100% agree with Sharon and Yssie that the choice of maker and method depends entirely on what you are planning on making. I have probably already said this, but I would recommend looking through rings made by Victor, CVB, Erika W, etc. and find what you like!
     
  20. Resonance.Of.Life
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Resonance.Of.Life » Apr 2, 2016
    Forgot to add, Van Craeynest.

    I've seen their stuff in person and it's die-cast and then hand chased, engraved, ect. Their work is also impeccable even under a loupe !
     
  21. cookiebuttermonster
    Rough_Rock

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    by cookiebuttermonster » Apr 3, 2016
    Lol oh my goodness, give me a little credit! I'm not going to mass-email every vendor on this list.

    I like to have my options laid out in an organized way. Consider this list like a catalogue to flip through and choose among. Posting this list has already surfaced 2 options that I wasn't aware of, one of which I really like a lot. I've already ruled out 4 names on that list based on what I've read about them, and/or their style doesn't match up with what I want, and won't be contacting them at all.

    I vastly prefer a handmade look and feel in all things, rather than stark symmetrical perfection. I want a lightweight ring that is also strong. I have resources to allow for the added expense of hand-forged. Those things combined, hand-forged is the natural choice to make, or am I mistaken?
     
  22. Resonance.Of.Life
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Resonance.Of.Life » Apr 3, 2016
    Depends on the design you want. Van Craeynest is die-struck and then hand-finished. but because it of the way it is made, it is just as good as hand-forged as far as my understanding goes.

    "Die Striking

    Die striking is a method of making jewelry in which gold or platinum is forced into shape between hardened steel dies under 2-10 tons of pressure, depending on the press that is used. The metal is struck "cold" and its molecular structure is actually changed during the process. It becomes much harder and tougher. Each design has its own set of dies. The die making process consists of hand carving an original positive baserelief of the ring into solid steel. This original positive carving called a hub is then hardened and all the dies and other tools to make the ring are derived from it.

    One can make beautiful jewelry by casting, but you cannot pierce the metal as we do - it is not strong enough, and there may be porosity. Die striking compresses the metal, casting expands the metal - the extra density and strength allows us to work more extensively with the metal allowing much finer detail."

    From the Van Craeynest website.

    I visited them in Redlands once with Madelise and it was amazing to see the process unfold in front of our eyes.
     
  23. MollyMalone
    Ideal_Rock

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    by MollyMalone » Apr 3, 2016
    I don't think I have a good grasp on what designs you are considering, but I'll nonetheless offer this suggestion: Tom Herman of Seven Fingers (he lost 3 fingers as a child due to a farm machinery accident) in Pound Ridge, NY -- he started his goldsmithing career at Van Craeynest in the "good old days".
    http://www.sevenfingers.com
    http://www.sevenfingers.com/rings.html
    http://ganoksin.com/blog/metalwerx/2013/04/11/meet-the-masters-tom-herman-seven-fingers-jewelry/

    I really enjoyed meeting him at a Craft Boston holiday show & seeing his jewelry first hand, and on my hand! More importantly for your purposes, lovesvintage loved working with him last year to create a very special ring using her grandmother's star ruby:
    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-star-ruby-ring-project-with-seven-fingers-jewelry.215713/

    And here's Kismet''s gorgeous opal ring:
    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/opal-ring-from-seven-fingers-jewelry.166336/

    kismet_s_7fingers_ring.png
     
  24. cookiebuttermonster
    Rough_Rock

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    by cookiebuttermonster » Apr 4, 2016
    Oh wow his work is gorgeous! Those are pieces of art.

    I'm going for a simple solitaire. I really like what I've seen from Vram. I also love the feel of this one by Maytal but I don't want a bezel. The soft, fluid, and organic look of the metal is really singing to me though.

    ring-3-2.jpg ring-2-2.jpg
    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/custom-maytal-hannah-ring-with-gog-august-vintage-cushion.201826/
     
  25. sharonp
    Rough_Rock

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    by sharonp » Apr 4, 2016
    This really comes down to budget these are all in my opinion some of the most opulent designs in that style but they are not cheap and may not be exactly what you want.

    MC2 -http://www.mc2jewels.com/item/9579/blue-sapphire-flora-pave-425cts-platinum
    SK - http://www.stevenkirsch.com/engagement/halo/r0103.html
    LM - https://leonmege.com/portfolio/shop-now/lotus-ring-pink-spinel-detail
    LM- https://www.leonmege.com/portfolio/custom-work/micro-pave/tulip-solitaire-round-diamond-detail
    MM- http://markmorrell.weebly.com/mwm-custom-projects.html
     
  26. cookiebuttermonster
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    by cookiebuttermonster » Apr 4, 2016
    Oh yeah those are more ornate than I want. No pave for me lol. The only ring I like that has melee on the shank is the Erika Winters Minna, and that is way more than I want to spend.

    I'll most likely be doing something different for the gallery than the lotus so the Mark Morrell isn't doing it for me. If I were to do a lotus gallery I'd go for the LAD/CVB Dahlia/Anne.

    I've got ideas pinned to a pinterest board but I'm on my phone and it's too clunky to post lots of pictures unless I'm on my computer.
     
  27. cookiebuttermonster
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  28. Haven
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Haven » Apr 5, 2016
    Oh goodness, I have just fallen down a rabbit hole of beautiful rings after clicking your Vram link.

    I wanted to echo the advice that what works best for your desired design and vendor should guide whether you go with a hand forged ring or not. My ring is hand forged, but I had no idea that it would be until after it was made and my jeweler told me so. He decided it was what was best for achieving my desired design, and of course he knows better than I.

    I'm really excited to see your ring once it's made, it sounds like it will be beautiful.
     
  29. Sagefemme
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