Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Savanna's Pendant - Process Photos

This is a commissioned piece for Savanna.  I visited her in downtown San Francisco on the same day that Vice President Joe Biden decided to come join our party.  Well he was in town for a fundraiser lunch, which of course caused major traffic jams and detours.

Savanna chose this picture type jasper where it looks like someone painted some red blooms across a gray canvas.  So pretty and definitely unique.  With the long rectangular shape of the stone, we decided to reiterate that shape with rectangles and squares.  Placing the toggle clasp in the front not only reflects the organic shape of the brick red inclusions, but also makes it more convenient to wear.  I promised Savanna I will take progress pictures so she can see the step by step process.  Below the photos are some general, less technical descriptions:

From top to bottom and left to right:
1.   raw materials - recycled sterling sheet, recycled fine silver bezel wire, and the jasper cab
2.   measuring and fitting the bezel wire for the stone and solder the ends together
3.   solder the bezel onto a piece of the sterling backing that I cut from the big sheet
4.   I then sawed out part of the back because I want to have the back of the cab showing
5.   here it is, back is cut
6.   I have to keep checking to make sure the stone still fits
7.   and this is how the stone looks from the back
8.   I file the sawn edges smooth - first the inside rectangle on the backing
9.   then I use a larger file for the outside edges
10. cut the decorative square holes
11. drill a hole for a jump ring to later attach the ring part of the toggle clasp, and sand the metal smooth
12. looking from the back
13. toggle and chain attached, patina applied
14. signed the piece and quality stamped it with "STER"
15. all ready to set the stone and pushing the bezel against it
16. voila - finished

Here's a closer look at the finished pendant:

I will be making her ring next.  She chose a lepidocrocite quartz with faceted top.  Come back in a few days and I will post those process pictures as well.  :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

FAM 1/12 - Candy Colored Rings

A new design challenge on flickr - Four A Month, or FAM in short.  We come up with 4 related designs each month.  This will push us to think in terms of series or sets, or even beginning pieces of a full blown collection for future explorations.  By the end of each month, we post our work on flickr to share with others.  Here's the link to check out what everyone else makes.

Wide Band Candy Colored Rings - available in my Etsy store
For January, I came up with some rings.  I was just dying to try to make some wide band rings, and I managed to find some delicious candy colored stones for them.  The stones I used are (from top to bottom, left to right) blue chalcedony, lapis lazulli, amazonite, larimar, rainbow moonstone, chrysoprase, and tangerine orange chalcedony.  What do you think?  I already got a custom order to make a round amazonite ring (center) at a size 7.  YAY!