Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Diamond Rings for meeeeeeee.....

Look what's on the way to my house! These are ultra shiny copper jump rings made of square wire cut on the bias so that they're "diamond" shaped (ha, fooled you didn't I). Tell you what, though, I think I'm more excited than I would be if a "real" diamond ring were headed my way (unless it was everything I needed to make my OWN diamond ring).

These are coming at me from C&T Designs. They are cutting edge. Urban Maille is the only other site I've seen that does odd-shaped rings and I can't find any gold ones on their site (although I seem to recall that they had a site specifically for GF rings that I can't seem to find a link to.)

This is where I put in a plug (since it occurs to me that I haven't blogged one although I have raved pretty much everywhere else about them) for C&T. Are they the cheapest? Nope. If you want Wal-Mart, go to The Ring Lord, where you will find very decent rings mass produced, (please don't buy machine cut!) cheap, and I have to say it, their customer service sucks. I have twice emailed them about orders, once about something that was missed being sent to me, and got no reply. Zilch. So... I use them for anodized aluminum because their prices are unbeatable for it, sometimes enameled copper because they have more than one size, and a few other random things (I was using them for my bright aluminum as well because it was chrome shiny, but the last batch was dissappointingly dull... grrrr!). I use Blue Buddha Boutique for small batches of multicolored anodized aluminum, 20g 1/8" enameled copper (please make other sizes!) and neoprene. For pretty much everything else, C&T. If they're not the cheapest, why?

1) I'm a sucker for shiny. C&T's rings are on the left in both pictures above (copper and stainless steel, respectively), TRL's on the right. Curt tumbles all his rings before he sends them out, then you get a little nontarnish tab in the baggie with any tarnishable metals, to keep them glowing till you make something gorgeous out of them. I am talking SERIOUSLY shiny.... so shiny that when he sent me a picture of the rings at the top of the post I thought they were gold!

2) Customer service. I can email and ask for a specific gauge rings for a project, and Curt will experiment and calculate (something I suck at, so this is hugely valuable) till he finds the perfect aspect ratio. If you want to make a bracelet, he sends you enough for a bracelet, with a little extra. Then I get the stuff, make something stunning, and get to take all the credit. It feels like cheating. (although there is SOME creativity involved on my end ;)

3) Neat stuff. The square and diamond shaped rings are a new thing, but C&T is also the only place you can get rainbow anodized niobium, that is, a rainbow of color on each ring. Recently he sent me a toggle closure made of anodized niobium that was two colors, twisted... without any naked wire ends, which means he'd taken the care to anodize even those. Which brings me to...

4) Precision and care. When I order those TRL AA rings, sometimes I throw out TONS of them because whoever does their anodizing kind of sucks. The colors are not right, the colors rub off, they scratch really easily. C&T saw cuts everything, which means perfect closures (closures are EVERYTHING in chainmaile), even steel, which is nutty :) Everything anodized is completely anodized, and perfect. If I throw out any rings it's because I mangled them myself.

5) Custom service. This fits in with the customer service, but you can ask for pretty much anything round and made out of some sort of wire, and C&T will do their best to get it or make it.

6) Free stuff with every order. Rebecca at Blue Buddha does this too. I tell ya, I'd much rather get a little bagful of free rings than 10% off my order. It's like Christmas every time I get a package in the mail. And since I chat with Curt about the stuff I'm doing on a regular basis (because of the custom thing), he always puts the coolest stuff in.

7) Humbleness. Not too willing to sing his own praises, so I make up for it. :)


Liv'nGood Jewelry said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I got a GC from Curt's shop from a Secret Santa, so I ordered some of the new square rings for a Jens Pind.

I mentioned that I'd never done JPL before, so the freebie he threw in the order was copper square rings in the right size for JPL - perfect for me to practice on before trying the silver!

tstreasures said...

OMG So true, everything you said about Curt and his rings. The quality is one of the most impressive things to me. Of course so is his custom and customer service.