Let’s start by backing up.
About five weeks ago, Alicia and I made concrete our choice of jeweler and design for our upcoming wedding rings. Those familiar with the story know that we are headed for a 2010 wedding date; I suppose we’re a little early on some of these items but these things are essential: our wedding colors, our clothing choices, our rings.
Which brings us back to where we were. Our rings - one for me, one for Alicia, are based on a 17th-century German design that resembles an armillary sphere, a device used in modeling orbits of the earth, moon, and other bodies around the sun.
Initial verbal sketches of this ring to family and friends prompted a number of responses, most amazed, some incredulous. Many expressed interest and wonder at the fact that this ring contained a mechanism – a trick owing to its unique construction – that allowed the ring to unfold into a series of concentric rings.
Wax castings were completed recently, comprising the three ring elements in Alicia’s ring, though they were insufficient - the three-ring structure posed a unique challenge to the subtractive wax casting done at our jewelers, and a new cast will need to be done in an additive machine – a “grower”, that will form the molds out of resin.
Other design elements are present, of course – Alicia’s ring, made of 18k yellow gold has a green sapphire set in a half-bezel, with a stepped arrangement of surrounding diamonds. My ring, constructed of 14k yellow gold mixed with palladium, features circuitry-inspired etchings terminating in a pair of inset blue sapphires. The placement of these features is still being worked on, but the heart of the design – the mechanism – is in place.
Here’s a small video of the mechanism operating on my ring, as demonstrated in a 3D CAD program, shown to us by our jeweler, Kirk, at Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle.
We expect a new wax cast from the growing machine in about two weeks, a final round of changes, and then delivery of the final rings by the first day in November. That had ought to be enough time for a holiday proposal. But don’t tell Alicia :)
We’ll have more updates soon!