Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thing a Week- Weeks 13-15

Another combined Thing A Week report. So far so good, I haven't yet had a week where I haven't finished something, which is a good sign. I must say that it has been really hard to stay indoors with the wonderful spring weather we've had lately. We'll see if I'm able to keep up the good work..

Week 13
This is my first project in gold. I'm not sure I would have done it if not a colleague had requested these earrings. She had seen similar earrings by me in silver and wanted them in 18K gold.
So I ordered the tiniest amount of supplies possible and got started. And I can now say: I love gold! It was extremely nice to work with, except for the awareness that the gold dust that I can't possibly collect when sawing or filing is a loss that I'll have to accept. And another thing that wasn't so nice is the thought that stays in your brain as long as you work with it: Must. Not. Screw. Up.
The 'phew' feeling when I had polished them and set the stones was pretty big. And oh yes, my colleague bought them.

Week 14
This week I managed to continue doing things I am uncomfortable with. This time it was prongs. I have a few prong projects, some of which are finished, some of which may never get finished. I had tried this particular design before and had a hard time soldering on all the prongs. This time I drilled holes where I wanted the prongs, then hammered a little nail head on a piece of wire and put the wire through the holes with the nail head in the back. Then soldered all of them at the same time. Easy! The stone is a wonderful translucent mint green prehnite, rounded both on the front and in the back.

Week 15
This was another custom order, and again a challenge for me. A colleague (a different one) gave me a stone she had once been given. She didn't know what it was but it looks like quartz or white topaz. The challenge was to set a big (and high) faceted stone in a simple, elegant pendant. I did most of the pendant at my metalsmithing class, and currently I cannot repeat the way that it was done at home - though there are other ways. I made a sterling silver oval ring that matched the stone as prefectly as possible. Then I ground a seat for the stone and made the rest of the pendant with round wire. I used a hammer hand piece for flexshafts to set the stone, and then polished the area around the setting.

1 comment:

  1. Eeek I have never ever used gold! I keep thinking I should give it a go, but I get scared off with the cost of messing it up! Love the earrings. x