Monday, October 29, 2007

Nevada Variscite Pendant

Now this one might be my new favorite! This is Nevada variscite with a handmade bezel setting on hammered and brushed sterling. I had never seen this stone before, and I really love the color, a lovely soft sagey green. This is my first handmade bail, sawn out of sterling sheet, and accented with a little piece of twisted wire. This piece took a while to make, but I really love it - I'm having such fun designing and making pieces to show off these pretty stones!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Green Chalcedony Ring - Yummy!!!

Oh, I love this stone! This is my favorite thing I've ever made, I just love this and I'm soooo keeping it! The shank is made from low-dome patterned wire, and the bezel was hand-made and accented with twisted wire again. This time I also made a little ball and soldered it to the top for a little added accent. I just think this piece of chalcedony is the prettiest one I have ever seen. It is from Peru, and is called "Chrysoverde" chalcedony.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Autumn Leaf with Brass

This was a little sawing experiment - a little oak leaf set on a forge piece of brass. I'd like a more matte finish on this one, but for now, it is done. I think I'mn going to make a bunch more of these little leaves in various shapes and make earrings and maybe even a charm bracelet - we'll see......

Bezel set onyx ring

I decided to try fabricating a ring with a bezel set stone. I have a bunch of square cabochons that I've had for 10 years, so I'll be using these up in practice pieces. This ring was made with a plain low-dome silver wire for the shank, the bezel setting was handmade with fine silver bezel wire and a sterling backplate cut out with a saw and soldered to the bezel. I then shaped a piece of twisted wire around the bezel for an accent. I really like the way this one turned out - quite a bit neater than my first one. I think it's a lot of fun to make the bezel settings and I can't wait to try a different shaped stone now. I got a parcel of lovely stones from Out of Our Mines in California, and I'll be using these in the next piece I do - Here's the little group....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My first bezel pendant

Finally got a chance to try a bezel. I got so excited about setting the stone I forgot that I wouldn't be able to solder a bail on after the stone was set. Also, the bezel wire that I used was a little high for the stone, so I may take it apart and redo it at some point. I do kind of like the simplicity of the piece, though, and I think the crystal drop gives just the right accent to the lace agate stone.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pieces I made at the retreat

I learned to solder, a skill which is definitely an ongoing learning process. Turns out the hardest part is not the soldering itself, but getting things stabilized and flush-fitting so that soldering will work like it should. I have much to learn, but I was thrilled with my pieces, nonetheless. I had also wanted to try making a loop-in-loop chain so that all parts of my jewelry are handmade. Turns out I really love this process, and I spent a luxurious day and a half making a full necklace and bracelet set with handmade chain. It is made with 20 gauge fine silver wire, which is wound into a coil, cut into rings which are fused closed. The rings are then shaped into ovals, pinched in the middle, then woven one-by-one into a chain. The chain is then "trued" to make sure that each and every link is shaped perfectly. I also made a couple of simple band rings (no pics, oops), a pair of copper dome earrings, and two mixed metal pendants, one of which I attached to my handmade chain. I didn't get a chance to do any bezel setting, but I'm ready to try it as soon as I get time.