Tag Archives: stone setting

I’m late, I’m late…

NO, not that way!!  OMG.  Perish the thought.

I meant to post this yesterday but I got so caught up in the building of it that I barely remembered to take pictures of the process, let alone edit and post them.  I think perhaps it is a good sign though, that maybe I’ve got my groove on again.

So.  It all started with an oopsie.  Several years ago I was practicing soldering large bezels onto sheet.  It can be a little tricksy. (Yes, I know that’s spelled wrong….blame Gollum.)  You have thin little bezel strip made of fine silver, which is extremely melty, and you’re trying to solder it onto a big hunk of sterling silver that takes forever to heat up enough for the solder to flow.  Long story short, I was so excited to get the bezel on the sheet properly I gleefully popped the stone in and set it.  Without.  Adding.  A bail. (Hangs head in shame.)

The reason this is a problem is that in order to solder anything else onto the piece, I really should remove the stone.  If I heat the piece with the stone in it, it will scorch.  It will kill it.  So this piece has been all by itself in a lonely little box on my desk since I built it feeling sad that it’s basically useless as-is.

So I needed a piece that I could add this to by simply drilling a hole and threading a jump-ring through it.  I couldn’t just do that and then sell it as-is…perish the thought!

You all know I’m into swirly things right now.  I generally don’t go for heart-designs, perhaps because I’m too jaded and cynical, but I had a weak moment and thought “I should do something with a heart design”.  I then checked for other symptoms of an aneurysm or perhaps possession, and finding this was a stand-alone symptom, I decided I was probably just having a weak moment and was feeling kind of heartish.  I suppose stranger things have happened.

So there’s the rough design.  I seldom do perfect sketches of what I want as I’d rather get to the building.  It’s sort of the shape I’m after and we’ll see how it morphs as we go along.

I pulled this photo in nice and close so you can see how the wire is bent to the design.  It’s not unusual for designs to change a little at this point as working with 3-dimensional wire is a little different than just tossing down a 2-dimensional drawing.  It’s springy, when you cross pieces there’s depth and joining issues.  It sometimes just looks very different than what you thought it would.  Scale is different too.  We perceive drawings differently with regard to scale than we do 3-dimensional objects.  At least I do.  I’ve placed a quarter in the picture so you can get a better idea of the size.

The round bezel at the top is for another Rose Quartz.  As you can see, the design has again morphed to include a center-swirl on the bottom.  It’s all nicely soldered into place, with little silver balls in the centers of the swirls for some added depth and interest.  The problem now is this.  It’s much bigger than I thought it was going to be and I can’t decide if I still want to put the original Oopsie that was the impetus for all this onto the bottom at all now.

Sigh.  I think I’m gonna do a Scarlett and just “Think about it tomorrah”.

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Damn the Torpedoes!

Onwards and Upwards!!  You can’t keep a good woman down!!  Tally-ho, Pip Pip and all that rot.

Along with those torpedoes, damn the guilt, the laundry, the housework, and the hundred other things that can keep us from doing what we really want to do.  Well, ok….except for the laundry.  I can do laundry and still do other stuff at the same time.  Gotta pretend to get SOMETHING sort-of domestic happening in order to maintain my delusion that yes, I can do it all.  Suddenly that bad commercial from the 70’s with a woman in a red dress singing something about bringing home the bacon just flashed before my eyes.  Every so often I forget how horribly tacky the 70’s were and then I have a nostalgia flashback.  But I digress……

These are the stones for the next batch of jewelry.  Spiffy, huh?  That is a massive Rose Quartz and it’s got tons of rose colour.  Sometimes they can be pale, but not this baby….she’s plenty rosie.  The two Labradorites may end up in one piece or in two.  I haven’t decided yet but it’s sure to be quite lovely as Labradorite has that gorgeous glow to it.  As for the Tiger’s Eye, it may not make it to the shelf.  It’s a really unique stone;  those dark bands you see are actually what appear to be Hematite…..deeply glossy and shiny Hematite.  I’m not sure I will be able to let go of it.

These are pieces of Dichroic Glass that I’ve had forever.  I’m still not 100% sure what direction I’m going to take these, but it’s sure to be a wild ride.  I love the contrast between these pieces and natural cabochons.  Someday I’m going to make my own glass cabs. Glass is, after all, just one more thing I can melt, right?

Now I’m going to ask you all for some feedback.  These are another round of big and chunky pieces.  Which do you prefer….*Big and Chunky* or *Pretty and Delicate*?  I’m going to let you decide what will come next after these are done.  Leave me a comment and let me know what direction YOU think I should take.  These creative journeys are always more fun when I have some company.  🙂

So here we go…another jewelry blitz.  Damn the Torpedoes!!  Full Steam Ahead!!!

Be Bold

I’ve already started my next piece with one of the new stones.  It’s this dreamy round Jasper cabochon.  This bold stone is getting a bold setting in a necklace….with handmade chain.  I’m also thinking reversible.  Yeah…that’s the ticket….reversible!!

It all starts with a bezel.  I’m using Argentium Sterling silver sheet for the backing and fine silver for the bezel.  Argentium silver is highly tarnish-resistant so it’s great for those who get tired of polishing their jewelry.  The bezel ring is first soldered together with hard solder, then soldered to the backing sheet with medium solder. Next I will trim the edge, cut out the backing sheet, and give it a first polish.  See you tomorrow!

Jasper and Agate and Bloodstone, Oh My!

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more likely to spur me into building jewelry than a bunch of new cabochon stones.  Don’t get me wrong…I like a nice faceted stone as much as the next girl….sparkly is always good.  But cabochons, with their smooth tops and curvy edges, are so touchable, so silky-smooth, so….so….buttery. They are just pure inspiration.

I actually hadn’t planned on buying these.  I had gone into Beadazzled to check and see if my new polishing machine was in.  It wasn’t, but these were.  We’re so lucky to have a store like this in such a small town.  I think specialty stores, especially artsy specialty stores, keep communities healthy.  They provide places where you can go for inspiration, maybe take a class (as you can at Beadazzled), and ask the questions that have always sat unanswered.  They’re places you can go and get what you need when you need it so you aren’t stymied in your artistic endeavors by the lack of a critical tool or supply.

So these amazing stones will be what occupy my free time for the next little bit.  I’m liking big and chunky right now…bold stones in striking settings.  Pieces that make you sit up and take notice…that make you go “What is that??”

Won’t you look smart when you say “Oh, it’s Snowflake Obsidian. Isn’t it just 7 kinds of WOW?”