Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Just Get Those Stones Set Already!

While  gathering supplies at last year's bead show, I was drawn to different selections of jasper.
A nice variety of jasper ended up in my purchases that day,
including some stones that were drilled, bailed and ready to be used as pendants.
Although I loved the stones
(and the very reasonable price of the stones),
I didn't especially love the thought of using them as the intended pendants that they were.
As I stood there imagining design options that would allow me to conceal the drilled hole, another jewelry designer, who also sells in local galleries, saw the stones that I was considering.
She shook her head, telling me, 
"Yeah...I bought some of those last year and didn't sell one piece."
I'm sure they were friendly words of caution, but I chose to see it as a challenge and said,
"Oh well...I think we all put our own mojo into whatever we make."
and picked out a few more stones.
I didn't have the benefit of seeing what my fellow jewelry designer acquaintance did with her stones to get insight as to why they didn't sell, 
but decided it was time to do something with mine.

I love how the veining and deposits of minerals can suggest an abstract painting, and find that each stone has its own unique balance.
This stone appeared best in a horizontal placement.
I knew that I had no bezel wire with the dimension necessary to cover the drilled hole, 
so another method of securing the stone was needed.

The stone's shape was traced onto a previously etched piece of 16 gauge silver nickel.
After cutting out the shape with my jeweler's saw, I began to solder tabs of sterling reclaimed from an old bangle that was in my bin of 'sterling bits to be refashioned'.
Those sterling tabs will fold over to secre the stone in place while conveniently making the drilled hole disappear from view.
This is still a work in progress as I consider where the remaining tabs will be situated and how an eventual chain will be attached.

In the meantime...
I actually completed a project with some other stones that were purchased at the same bead show.
 These druzies have been tempting me since they were purchased,
but I kept getting in my own way as I tried to imagine
'just the right project'.
The druzy shown on the far right...
became a lovely ring.
I love the combination of sterling with the pale turquoise of the druzy.

'just the right project'
is the one that you just do.

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