Bypass Bracelet

I’m a big fan of experimenting with traditional styles.  One of the first classic styles I learned to produce in Rhino is the bypass solitaire ring, and while I’m quite familiar with bypass rings, the exercise really helped me appreciate the grace and versatility of this  design:

This model for a class I was taking was surprisingly satisfying to work on.

But really, a ring can be such a tiny space to play with, and lately I crave bracelets instead, since I tend to have dry skin on my fingers from all the hand-washing and general abuse that goes with bench work.  One of my favorite purchased pieces is a silver bangle with a turquoise cab.  It has a lovely balanced design and an artfully designed bezel, but the setting just kind of sits on the bangle, looking great from the top but not so special from the side.  What better way to solve this than with a bypass style bangle, which could wrap around the stone?

A bangle for an 8 x 10 cabochon

The bypass design makes it fairly simple to sink the setting into the bracelet so that the stone is smoothly incorporated into the shape of the finished piece, while still having some room in the height of the bangle to experiment with the shape.  That’s how this twisted ladder band came to be:


As you can see, I also modeled a cage-type setting for the cab to give it a little height without too much weight.  The prongs look pretty heavy, but I want them to finish with a smooth, solid shape that complements the dome of the cabochon, surrounding it with four smaller domes, not wiry looking prongs (although I think claw-shaped prongs also look very graceful on cabs).

In case anyone was wondering, the left and right halves of this bangle are same.  I modeled one side and then copied and rotated it to complete the bracelet.  It’s amazing how hard it is to tell whether the two sides are completely identical, since you can never be looking at both from the same angle!

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