Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Stones

As happenstance would have it there is a store that's "new to me" in Traverse City.  It's in the same area that the old Osiris Bead Shop used to be in.  What a wonderful store that was!  The new find for me is a jewelry and stone store called On the Rocks

Since DH had a medical appointment in TC we went early and walked around downtown.  My plan was to investigate the rock store further and to go to Horizon Books - which always has a decent selection of the current magazines. 

I did find some stones to purchase, not the selection they had at the beginning of the summer for sure, but some interesting pieces.  And while I was looking at the wildly wonderful set cabs (there must have been a thousand) and feeling a melt down at the beautiful selection of stones this artist was using a bell went off in my head.  At the check out counter I picked up her card and noted her name (Kathryn Wilson) and began to read her story as things were being rung up...duh, yup - whoop whoop - the beautiful jewelry with the fantastic cabs.  Uh huh, her husband is Gary Wilson.  He's just about my favorite stone cutter ever.  I knew he lived in TC and in Arizona part of the year but holy crap.

How wonderful for all of us.  Maybe they'll start carrying a larger selection of his stones - that would heaven.  A whole lot easier than trying to elbow your way into the tables at Bead and Button.

I picked up a few of the pieces that were there - an odd lot for sure.  There were these stones I had seen before - called TV Stone.  It is Ulexite.  See how you can see the writing magnified through it?  I thought it might be fun to a fix something underneath it before it's set.  The Labradorite is a huge piece - rock size.  Maybe I could figure out an odd setting and turn it into a talisman kind of necklace with lots of runes and goodies.  Then the Fluorite crystals I thought might be interested set into a cage.  Fun stuff...stones and shopping.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Progress on the jewelry

Slow and tends to be my work pattern as of late.  No complaining but fast and furious wouldn't be bad either.

I made my decisions on the glass cab to put with the stone and had plenty of extras.  After that I decided it would be good to practice to set the extra glass cabochon for practice.  I made the bezel and soldered the silver to the top.

This is another style of cabochon (called a bullet cab) you can make in glass - you can get them in stone, but it's more fun and you can make more designs in glass.

Onward to sawing the top, adding a jump ring and bail, and let's not forget the polishing.  It's still looking pretty raw here.

The more complicated piece went through a decision making process for the bail.  It's drawn on the paper that's to the right of the piece.  I'm adding (universe willing) a swiveling bail to the top.  It should be big enough to accommodate a large rubber cord.  See the silver piece above the stone with the prongs - that will be the internal part of the bail.  Below is a glass tongue shaped cab I'm going to hang from the bottom (see the drawing in the previous post). 

In a day or two I ought to have the tongue cab capped and ready to go.  I still have to lap sand the top of it so it's nice and flat and do a heck of a lot of forming and soldering.
I will post any progress.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Loosening up some skills.

Whenever I lay off of metal work for awhile I have to warm up with a project.  It is a lot like riding a bike - it comes back.  The bitch of it all is that you are working on something while you are warming up and you aren't pedaling as fast as you did and the handle bars wobble and sometimes the wheel wants to fall off the bike.  I think that covers it. 

So I want to bezel a stone with outside prongs and then go from there.  Here are the drawings that are coming along.  As usual I put my cart before my horse - although that's not unusual when you are just "going for it".  As rough as it is at the moment it will all turn out.

Not exactly an artistic rendering but you get the idea of the possible permutations of this piece.

I did a square wire circle to set the stone on and added prongs (not to worry, they aren't cut to length yet.  I just wanted to get them on).

Not the best pic (not even pickled yet) - but you can see the how it's going to sit on the square wire.

Then I figured I needed a bail - duh, nice thing to think of after I had started but whatever.  See the drawing - plenty can be done here after the fact so it's not so worrisome.  I was considering this thick rubber cord I have so it's going to have to have a healthy opening on it.

All four prongs are on here now.  Now there are choices - lots of choices.  Considering the second one from the left.
After I did the initial setting it just seemed plain and I've been working on cabs for the project Susan and I are doing so I figured maybe I needed something hanging from the stone.   I didn't want to try and match up a stone bullet so out came the glass so I could match some colors.   You can create bullet cabs on the end of a mandrel so that is what I did.  I will lap the ends just a bit so they have plenty of surface to grab inside a bezel when it's set.  Primarily I went organic on the design so it would be like the stone but maybe it's too matchy - matchy. 
I'll make a few more bullet cabs today before I decide on the final one.  With a heavy silver bail between the two pieces like in the drawing it will break up the match some and then maybe a citrine colored stone on the bezel would help with that too.
Choices, choices - good to have them but it always gives me a reason to procrastinate and be slow.
Hey, did you see silver is down in price again.....hallelujah!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Already Mid-September - Whoa

So where has Sharon been....lots of things have been happening here as of late.  Sorry for the pause in blogging.

1. Our daughter and her too cute for words husband have moved back to Michigan - YES!  And, we are expecting a grandchild.  Whoo Hoo!  Of course, her father and I are incredibly excited for her and our SIL.  They have waited a very long time....uh, us too.  Our first grandchild is already in high school - our beautiful and smart Adrienne.

2. We have a new addition to our family already.  Meet Daisy Mae Belle - 8 weeks old and just "full of it".  Her name should be "Damn it Daisy - No".  I have told my friends that I have taken on a vampire lover.  I've fang marks everywhere!

This is Daisy with Trudy - poor Trudy has also been bitten by the vampire too.  We're working on it!
3. I'm taking a class from one of my favorite teachers - Roger Schmidt.  He's a retired bench jeweler with 25 years experience.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, this man can't explain or help us with - it's a joy to be back in his class and to visit with old friends.

4. I'm still working on cabs (glass ones to set with stones) - I've decided to set them in as many ways as I can think of so eventually I'll post them as I work on them.

5. I moved equipment around again as we moved some of the things our daughter had stored here down to her new home.  I've been clearing out boxes of jewelry parts and sorting them into those white storage units (they are very nearly full) and moved my little torch up from the basement studio and into a position in the new area where I usually work on finishing.  I figure it only takes up a little space and it would be more convenient than running up and down a flight of steps all the time. 

That Ikea table is so steady for a cheap table I can hardly believe it - go Ikea go!
That's all the news - it's been a fast and furious couple of weeks.  Oh, and we had a garage sale - and took lots of things to the Goodwill and on and on and know - lots of life stuff (good stuff).