Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grandma's Cookbook

 Winter, snow and being in the house a lot makes me want to cook.  I happened to pick up my grandma’s cook book.  It is very old and a wonderful look into what her life was like when she was cooking for her husband and their two girls.  I think she also cooked for men who worked for them at the farm.  I loved having milk and cookies at her house.  She usually had a cake when I visited her!
I wanted to share some of the pages and let you enjoy them too.  The book is well used.  Grandma gave it to my mother and now I have it.  Once in a while I try to decide what recipe I want to make from it but I seldom get past reading and remembering.

I love this story about the rose jar!


Friday, February 22, 2013

My Pueblo RIng

My finished Pueblo Ring

The second project we made in Hadar’s class on ‘Architectural Jewelry’ was a ring with 3 layers.  It has dimension in the front, an integral band in the back and the bottom is enclosed.  I made a mini pueblo with a tower, middle building and a wall.  The clay is Hadar’s Brilliant Bronze.  Each layer has a different texture which enhances the 3-D effect. 
Using the paper ring to dry the separate pieces.  These are parts from different class member's rings.

The band starts with a strip of paper taped in a circle that is 2.5 times larger than the actual ring size.  That adjusts for the shrinkage during firing.  I should have made mine a half size larger.  Now I have a pinkie ring that is a little heavy.  Someday when I make another, this may end up in my etsy store.  Right now, I’m just excited to have made it!  Each layer is made separately and dried before attaching to the main band.  The bottom is then attached and dried. 
This shows the bottom layer after firing

The ring is sanded and finished as much as possible (to avoid a lot of work after firing).  A layer of charcoal is placed in a round stainless pan, the rings set on it and the bowl is placed on a ‘camp stove’ arrangement with a vented ‘hood’. 
Placing dried rings on charcoal base layer

Ready for 1st firing.
Then it is heated until the pieces are black and no longer smoke.  The binder has just burned away and the metal molecules are just hanging there.  If you picked the ring up at this point, it would crumble.  Material that will not burn in the kiln (like kiln fire blanket) is placed in strategic areas where we did not want charcoal to get caught (between the layers) and more charcoal was layered on top of the ring covering it. 
After 1st firing and ready for the covering charcoal.

 Then the bowl was placed in the kiln and heated to a high temperature.  The metal molecules fused together (or sintered) and after 2 hours the ring came out.  It was cooled and cleaned and polished. 
In the kiln (the door would normally be closed) for 2nd firing.

It was pretty exciting to see my ring and to try it on.  At least it fit my little finger and it did not need repair.  Amazing!
I learned so much on this project:  texturing, building pieces, the process of 2-phase firing and polishing.
And I have so many ideas for this type of construction. 
More next week!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

V-Bar-V Ranch - Petroglyphs and a Figure

Yesterday Peter and I took a day trip to V-Bar-V Ranch near Sedona AZ.  We love to visit ruins and see petroglyphs while we look for real birds and interesting textures of nature.
In 1994, the U.S. Forest Service acquired the V-Bar-V Ranch to protect the ancient art panels found here. The property was first homesteaded at the turn of the century (1900’s) by the Taylor family.  Several families ran the property as a working cattle ranch after that.
We checked in with the ranger and took the short walk to the very large configuration of rocks on the sandstone bluff.  It was covered with petroglyphs- 1032 have been identified so far.  Most were pecked, ground or scratched into the rock between 1150 and 1400 A.D. (over 800 years ago).  The Sinagua people who created these images seemed to like pairs – 2 birds, lizards and humans with different sets of legs- and we found several of these pairs. 
By watching the movement of light across the rock images, the people could tell when to plant crops, when to harvest and when to start certain ceremonies.  They created a calendar to track solstices and equinoxes. 
The area that captured my attention most was a long slender rock that resembled a figure.  It was lighter in color than the surrounding rock and shows manmade tool marks on the sides and head area.  There are also areas where the dark rocks on each side of the figure’s head have been chipped away allowing the figure to be more prominent.  We have no idea if that is what the Sinagua people really intended but it certainly makes me hope so! 
Looking at the figure from different angles shows the complexity of the shape.  I’m fascinated by this early group of people who made picture stories of daily life, religious beliefs and created the art we see today.  Art is such an integral part of humans and we need to nurture it.






Shows the size of the figure compared to Peter.


Friday, February 15, 2013

A Bird and A Hare Necklace


 
Just needs a chain!
Taking Hadar’s ‘Pictorial and Architectural Jewelry’ class was a 3 day adventure into using Hadar’s clay and her techniques. 
The first piece we made was with Low Shrinkage Steel XT clay with a small amount of copper added.  She just discovered that the Steel XT low shrinkage clay does not need 2 phases of firing.  Her manual is updated. www.artinsilver   I’ll be using a lot more of that in the future.  It was easy to mix and work with and has a longer working time.
Our first project was to be the interior of a room.  We were to start drawing a rectangle on tracing paper.  Then we were to draw a second rectangle that would be a window. We drew lines to the corners of pieces.  Now we had a ceiling, a floor, and two walls.  We transferred that to layers of clay.  Hadar’s direction for the perspective drawing was very simple and very effective.  She wanted us to use her perspective technique, use several textures and add some copper to the steel.  We could make a flat piece or a wavy piece.
Hadar's Example for Class
I decided to make a wavy piece and use many textures for the various layers in the perspective.  Somewhere along the creative process, my pictorial piece became the exterior of a castle.  It has a round tower made from clay wrapped on a cylinder and it sets behind the wall.  A copper bird perches on top of the tower and a copper hare rests close to the front door.  This is my ‘bird and hare’ necklace!
Before Firing
The chain for this piece will attach on the back.  I’ll put wire through each of the two loops and form a bead so the loops stay in place.  Then I’m going to make a steel chain (technique from Keith le Bue’s class).  This will take a while so you will see the finished piece in a few weeks!
Back of castle.  Note the two small tubes for attaching wires
Things I learned in class: 
  • Small amounts of Bronze XT and copper can be mixed with Low Shrinkage Steel XT and one firing is enough to sinter.
  • You can tell if the piece sintered by using the yellow radial disc to take off any charcoal and clean the piece.  If the piece is sintered, it will look like metal – shiny steel and if it is not, it is matt black.  That was really fun to observe.
  • Testing your kiln before firing is a smart move.  Under-firing and over-firing are states to avoid.
  • Expect some cracking.  Learning to repair the cracks, making sure the clay is really dry before re-firing the piece is just part of the process.
  • Read the labels carefully!  Before class I ordered Steel XT – not Low Shrinkage Steel XT.  Wrong clay.  I’ll use it but I wish I had understood the difference in time!
  • When possible store the mixed clay in saran wrap and put it in the original plastic vial.  That way you can keep track of the kind of clay you are using.  Very helpful!
  • Craftsmanship and finishing really do make a big difference!  We know that but need reminding once in a while.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning About Hadar's Clay

Pre-Workshop Necklace
Hadar's Clay - my pre-workshop necklace
February means Tucson!  It’s the Gem Show and The Bead Show with warmer weather than Prescott!  This year I started with a 3 day intensive class with Hadar Jacobson.  Twelve artists met at Lyle Rayfield’s studio in the beautiful Tucson Mountains to learn how to make architectural style jewelry using Hadar’s clay. 
Our Class!
As a member of a Face Book group, I’ve been reading for quite a while of artist’s challenges occurring in the process of sintering (when clay becomes metal), firing, etc.  I was totally intimidated.  Intimidation is not a state I’m comfortable with but I continued to delay using the clay myself.  One day I received an email and phone call from my good friend, Lyle, who also certified me in Art Clay.  Lyle wanted to invite Hadar to teach ‘Pictorial and Architectural Jewelry’ and needed attendees.  I whined a little and said, “OK.  I guess it is time to tackle this.”  I sent my money and got busy! Several samples of clay (steel, bronze, copper) came in the mail.  My first projects were in rose bronze and copper. 
For those of you not familiar with Hadar’s Clay, it is a powder that when mixed with the correct amount of water, becomes clay.  The best way to explain metal clay is to picture nano (extremely small) particles of metal mixed with a binder.  When water is added, clay forms.  We make the piece of jewelry and fire it.  The high heat used in the firing burns the binder and fuses the nano particles of metal.  Hadar’s clay often requires two phases of firing (depending on the metal and firing temp range).  She has just updated her manual so you might like to check it out at www.artinsilver.com
Hadar's Copper Clay in the bottle and formed into pieces ready to fire

Copper pieces fired

One of the fired pieces in a necklace
By the time I arrived at class, I was comfortable with the mixing and handling of the clay and I had fired a few of my pieces in my kiln. 
By the end of the 3rd class day, I was no longer intimidated!  Hadar was an excellent teacher showing many techniques and her explanations were great.  When someone asked her about cracks or repairs, her answer put my fears in perspective.  “We are working with clay and there will be some cracks and some pieces not sintering.  They are easily repaired. That is just part of the process.”  Ok. So I relaxed.  She showed how to repair pieces and made us comfortable with that process. 
Hadar's Work - Examples for Class!
As I look back on those three days, I realize how important it is to understand processes and the reasons for them.  I am reminded once again that what I fear and the stories I make up about those fears are so much worse than the reality.  It’s a lesson I keep learning!
Next post will be about the pieces I made in the class.  Check back for more!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thistle Medallion

Taking a walk through a forest, on a mountain trail or through a meadow, always inspires me.  One of my favorite flowers on these walks is the thistle.  The details of that flower make me smile.  When I found this thistle stamp in a store, of course, I just had to have it.  I put it on my work table waiting for the right time to use it. 
One day I decided to make the thistle in fine silver clay and put a wire staple on the back.  That staple would allow me to make a backing of polymer clay and attach it securely to the silver.  I also made a silver flat bail with a hole toward the bottom so I could put it between two layers of polymer.  Both the staple and the hole would force polymer clay into those openings locking the silver in place.  
These are the 3 slabs of polymer for the Illuminance & Clarice beads
The back of the medallion is made from the sunburst slab in the front of the picture.
Combining metal clay with polymer clay fascinates me.  I love blending the colors of polymer and trying new techniques.  I just purchased a new tutorial (ebook) ‘Illuminance and Clarice Beads’ by Emma Ralph on the internet and have been anxious to try it out.  http://www.ejrbeads.co.uk/  What fun I had making luminescent beads!  I happened to glance over at the silver thistle and decided to use one of the luminescent slabs of polymer as the backing. 
Shows the first backing of polymer around the silver medallion that has been cured.
2nd backing and outside edging
I made the back, adhered the silver using the staple and cured the piece.  Then I placed a second piece of polymer on top of the back and added the bail and cured that.  The edge piece was applied and cured again.
Finished Medallion
 
The finished piece makes me think of my walks through a meadow with all the shades of yellow, gold and green.  The piece could easily be reversible.  Sometimes it just takes a while to put all the pieces together.  


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Off to Tucson

Off to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show!  Actually I'll be spending 3 days in an intensive workshop with Hadar Jacobson artinsilver.com learning to use her clay and producing (I hope) some lovely pieces of jewelry.  I'll be sharing that experience when I return. 

It is also an opportunity to see some friends, take care of having taxes done and seeing my old home town of Tucson.  I understand the downtown area is much improved!  And the temperature should be warmer than Prescott!

Later!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Experimenting with Rings

It’s been a while since I made a ring.  In fact, it had been years.  And when I was going through my supplies, I realized that I needed to use more of my silver clay stash.  Now might just be the time to make a ring.
The design I had in mind incorporated holes into a shaped band.  Out came my books and I started reading and remembering.
I wanted a size 6 ring and measured 2 sizes larger.  In the end I should have made it 2 ½ inches larger for the shrinkage…next time.
Should have made the size a little larger for shrinkage
I rolled my silver clay 4 cards thick, planned where the holes would be and cut them with a fine pointed tool.   Since I wanted a shaped ring that was higher in the center than the edges, I dug out my seldom used cork clay and dampened it.  Then I rolled a snake with tapered end and put the clay over it as I wrapped the clay around my ring mandrel that I previously covered in a wrap paper.  Marked where the ring should be and started shaping the back making sure the front cork clay stayed in place.  I cleaned out the holes and let the ring dry.  After it dried the cork clay flipped out.
Drying on ring mandrel
Back after shaping
Then sanding and finishing and firing.  I decided to put the ring in the tumbler to work harden the metal.
It came out great!  Size 5 ½.  Great pinkie ring for most of us!






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grandma's Cookbook

 Winter, snow and being in the house a lot makes me want to cook.  I happened to pick up my grandma’s cook book.  It is very old and a wonderful look into what her life was like when she was cooking for her husband and their two girls.  I think she also cooked for men who worked for them at the farm.  I loved having milk and cookies at her house.  She usually had a cake when I visited her!
I wanted to share some of the pages and let you enjoy them too.  The book is well used.  Grandma gave it to my mother and now I have it.  Once in a while I try to decide what recipe I want to make from it but I seldom get past reading and remembering.

I love this story about the rose jar!


Friday, February 22, 2013

My Pueblo RIng

My finished Pueblo Ring

The second project we made in Hadar’s class on ‘Architectural Jewelry’ was a ring with 3 layers.  It has dimension in the front, an integral band in the back and the bottom is enclosed.  I made a mini pueblo with a tower, middle building and a wall.  The clay is Hadar’s Brilliant Bronze.  Each layer has a different texture which enhances the 3-D effect. 
Using the paper ring to dry the separate pieces.  These are parts from different class member's rings.

The band starts with a strip of paper taped in a circle that is 2.5 times larger than the actual ring size.  That adjusts for the shrinkage during firing.  I should have made mine a half size larger.  Now I have a pinkie ring that is a little heavy.  Someday when I make another, this may end up in my etsy store.  Right now, I’m just excited to have made it!  Each layer is made separately and dried before attaching to the main band.  The bottom is then attached and dried. 
This shows the bottom layer after firing

The ring is sanded and finished as much as possible (to avoid a lot of work after firing).  A layer of charcoal is placed in a round stainless pan, the rings set on it and the bowl is placed on a ‘camp stove’ arrangement with a vented ‘hood’. 
Placing dried rings on charcoal base layer

Ready for 1st firing.
Then it is heated until the pieces are black and no longer smoke.  The binder has just burned away and the metal molecules are just hanging there.  If you picked the ring up at this point, it would crumble.  Material that will not burn in the kiln (like kiln fire blanket) is placed in strategic areas where we did not want charcoal to get caught (between the layers) and more charcoal was layered on top of the ring covering it. 
After 1st firing and ready for the covering charcoal.

 Then the bowl was placed in the kiln and heated to a high temperature.  The metal molecules fused together (or sintered) and after 2 hours the ring came out.  It was cooled and cleaned and polished. 
In the kiln (the door would normally be closed) for 2nd firing.

It was pretty exciting to see my ring and to try it on.  At least it fit my little finger and it did not need repair.  Amazing!
I learned so much on this project:  texturing, building pieces, the process of 2-phase firing and polishing.
And I have so many ideas for this type of construction. 
More next week!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

V-Bar-V Ranch - Petroglyphs and a Figure

Yesterday Peter and I took a day trip to V-Bar-V Ranch near Sedona AZ.  We love to visit ruins and see petroglyphs while we look for real birds and interesting textures of nature.
In 1994, the U.S. Forest Service acquired the V-Bar-V Ranch to protect the ancient art panels found here. The property was first homesteaded at the turn of the century (1900’s) by the Taylor family.  Several families ran the property as a working cattle ranch after that.
We checked in with the ranger and took the short walk to the very large configuration of rocks on the sandstone bluff.  It was covered with petroglyphs- 1032 have been identified so far.  Most were pecked, ground or scratched into the rock between 1150 and 1400 A.D. (over 800 years ago).  The Sinagua people who created these images seemed to like pairs – 2 birds, lizards and humans with different sets of legs- and we found several of these pairs. 
By watching the movement of light across the rock images, the people could tell when to plant crops, when to harvest and when to start certain ceremonies.  They created a calendar to track solstices and equinoxes. 
The area that captured my attention most was a long slender rock that resembled a figure.  It was lighter in color than the surrounding rock and shows manmade tool marks on the sides and head area.  There are also areas where the dark rocks on each side of the figure’s head have been chipped away allowing the figure to be more prominent.  We have no idea if that is what the Sinagua people really intended but it certainly makes me hope so! 
Looking at the figure from different angles shows the complexity of the shape.  I’m fascinated by this early group of people who made picture stories of daily life, religious beliefs and created the art we see today.  Art is such an integral part of humans and we need to nurture it.






Shows the size of the figure compared to Peter.


Friday, February 15, 2013

A Bird and A Hare Necklace


 
Just needs a chain!
Taking Hadar’s ‘Pictorial and Architectural Jewelry’ class was a 3 day adventure into using Hadar’s clay and her techniques. 
The first piece we made was with Low Shrinkage Steel XT clay with a small amount of copper added.  She just discovered that the Steel XT low shrinkage clay does not need 2 phases of firing.  Her manual is updated. www.artinsilver   I’ll be using a lot more of that in the future.  It was easy to mix and work with and has a longer working time.
Our first project was to be the interior of a room.  We were to start drawing a rectangle on tracing paper.  Then we were to draw a second rectangle that would be a window. We drew lines to the corners of pieces.  Now we had a ceiling, a floor, and two walls.  We transferred that to layers of clay.  Hadar’s direction for the perspective drawing was very simple and very effective.  She wanted us to use her perspective technique, use several textures and add some copper to the steel.  We could make a flat piece or a wavy piece.
Hadar's Example for Class
I decided to make a wavy piece and use many textures for the various layers in the perspective.  Somewhere along the creative process, my pictorial piece became the exterior of a castle.  It has a round tower made from clay wrapped on a cylinder and it sets behind the wall.  A copper bird perches on top of the tower and a copper hare rests close to the front door.  This is my ‘bird and hare’ necklace!
Before Firing
The chain for this piece will attach on the back.  I’ll put wire through each of the two loops and form a bead so the loops stay in place.  Then I’m going to make a steel chain (technique from Keith le Bue’s class).  This will take a while so you will see the finished piece in a few weeks!
Back of castle.  Note the two small tubes for attaching wires
Things I learned in class: 
  • Small amounts of Bronze XT and copper can be mixed with Low Shrinkage Steel XT and one firing is enough to sinter.
  • You can tell if the piece sintered by using the yellow radial disc to take off any charcoal and clean the piece.  If the piece is sintered, it will look like metal – shiny steel and if it is not, it is matt black.  That was really fun to observe.
  • Testing your kiln before firing is a smart move.  Under-firing and over-firing are states to avoid.
  • Expect some cracking.  Learning to repair the cracks, making sure the clay is really dry before re-firing the piece is just part of the process.
  • Read the labels carefully!  Before class I ordered Steel XT – not Low Shrinkage Steel XT.  Wrong clay.  I’ll use it but I wish I had understood the difference in time!
  • When possible store the mixed clay in saran wrap and put it in the original plastic vial.  That way you can keep track of the kind of clay you are using.  Very helpful!
  • Craftsmanship and finishing really do make a big difference!  We know that but need reminding once in a while.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning About Hadar's Clay

Pre-Workshop Necklace
Hadar's Clay - my pre-workshop necklace
February means Tucson!  It’s the Gem Show and The Bead Show with warmer weather than Prescott!  This year I started with a 3 day intensive class with Hadar Jacobson.  Twelve artists met at Lyle Rayfield’s studio in the beautiful Tucson Mountains to learn how to make architectural style jewelry using Hadar’s clay. 
Our Class!
As a member of a Face Book group, I’ve been reading for quite a while of artist’s challenges occurring in the process of sintering (when clay becomes metal), firing, etc.  I was totally intimidated.  Intimidation is not a state I’m comfortable with but I continued to delay using the clay myself.  One day I received an email and phone call from my good friend, Lyle, who also certified me in Art Clay.  Lyle wanted to invite Hadar to teach ‘Pictorial and Architectural Jewelry’ and needed attendees.  I whined a little and said, “OK.  I guess it is time to tackle this.”  I sent my money and got busy! Several samples of clay (steel, bronze, copper) came in the mail.  My first projects were in rose bronze and copper. 
For those of you not familiar with Hadar’s Clay, it is a powder that when mixed with the correct amount of water, becomes clay.  The best way to explain metal clay is to picture nano (extremely small) particles of metal mixed with a binder.  When water is added, clay forms.  We make the piece of jewelry and fire it.  The high heat used in the firing burns the binder and fuses the nano particles of metal.  Hadar’s clay often requires two phases of firing (depending on the metal and firing temp range).  She has just updated her manual so you might like to check it out at www.artinsilver.com
Hadar's Copper Clay in the bottle and formed into pieces ready to fire

Copper pieces fired

One of the fired pieces in a necklace
By the time I arrived at class, I was comfortable with the mixing and handling of the clay and I had fired a few of my pieces in my kiln. 
By the end of the 3rd class day, I was no longer intimidated!  Hadar was an excellent teacher showing many techniques and her explanations were great.  When someone asked her about cracks or repairs, her answer put my fears in perspective.  “We are working with clay and there will be some cracks and some pieces not sintering.  They are easily repaired. That is just part of the process.”  Ok. So I relaxed.  She showed how to repair pieces and made us comfortable with that process. 
Hadar's Work - Examples for Class!
As I look back on those three days, I realize how important it is to understand processes and the reasons for them.  I am reminded once again that what I fear and the stories I make up about those fears are so much worse than the reality.  It’s a lesson I keep learning!
Next post will be about the pieces I made in the class.  Check back for more!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thistle Medallion

Taking a walk through a forest, on a mountain trail or through a meadow, always inspires me.  One of my favorite flowers on these walks is the thistle.  The details of that flower make me smile.  When I found this thistle stamp in a store, of course, I just had to have it.  I put it on my work table waiting for the right time to use it. 
One day I decided to make the thistle in fine silver clay and put a wire staple on the back.  That staple would allow me to make a backing of polymer clay and attach it securely to the silver.  I also made a silver flat bail with a hole toward the bottom so I could put it between two layers of polymer.  Both the staple and the hole would force polymer clay into those openings locking the silver in place.  
These are the 3 slabs of polymer for the Illuminance & Clarice beads
The back of the medallion is made from the sunburst slab in the front of the picture.
Combining metal clay with polymer clay fascinates me.  I love blending the colors of polymer and trying new techniques.  I just purchased a new tutorial (ebook) ‘Illuminance and Clarice Beads’ by Emma Ralph on the internet and have been anxious to try it out.  http://www.ejrbeads.co.uk/  What fun I had making luminescent beads!  I happened to glance over at the silver thistle and decided to use one of the luminescent slabs of polymer as the backing. 
Shows the first backing of polymer around the silver medallion that has been cured.
2nd backing and outside edging
I made the back, adhered the silver using the staple and cured the piece.  Then I placed a second piece of polymer on top of the back and added the bail and cured that.  The edge piece was applied and cured again.
Finished Medallion
 
The finished piece makes me think of my walks through a meadow with all the shades of yellow, gold and green.  The piece could easily be reversible.  Sometimes it just takes a while to put all the pieces together.  


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Off to Tucson

Off to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show!  Actually I'll be spending 3 days in an intensive workshop with Hadar Jacobson artinsilver.com learning to use her clay and producing (I hope) some lovely pieces of jewelry.  I'll be sharing that experience when I return. 

It is also an opportunity to see some friends, take care of having taxes done and seeing my old home town of Tucson.  I understand the downtown area is much improved!  And the temperature should be warmer than Prescott!

Later!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Experimenting with Rings

It’s been a while since I made a ring.  In fact, it had been years.  And when I was going through my supplies, I realized that I needed to use more of my silver clay stash.  Now might just be the time to make a ring.
The design I had in mind incorporated holes into a shaped band.  Out came my books and I started reading and remembering.
I wanted a size 6 ring and measured 2 sizes larger.  In the end I should have made it 2 ½ inches larger for the shrinkage…next time.
Should have made the size a little larger for shrinkage
I rolled my silver clay 4 cards thick, planned where the holes would be and cut them with a fine pointed tool.   Since I wanted a shaped ring that was higher in the center than the edges, I dug out my seldom used cork clay and dampened it.  Then I rolled a snake with tapered end and put the clay over it as I wrapped the clay around my ring mandrel that I previously covered in a wrap paper.  Marked where the ring should be and started shaping the back making sure the front cork clay stayed in place.  I cleaned out the holes and let the ring dry.  After it dried the cork clay flipped out.
Drying on ring mandrel
Back after shaping
Then sanding and finishing and firing.  I decided to put the ring in the tumbler to work harden the metal.
It came out great!  Size 5 ½.  Great pinkie ring for most of us!