Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's not an Orange and Purple Snowman...

I love making presents, even if, maybe especially if they are for someone else.
So, at Xmas party a friend saw my jewelry, River's wedding ring, and said she wanted to have me make something for her.
A few weeks later she contacted me and said she wanted me to make a pendant for her friend's birthday. Yeah!
So the process goes like this:
She wants a cabochon that relates to her friend.
I send her pics of all my cabs with recommendations, She decides.
I make a 3 cool sketches with the moonstone cab that she wanted.
Brandy loves the sketches, but remembers that she and her friend already got matching moonstone pendants. (Bummer)
Brandy picks a couple of new stones. So, back to the drawing board. This time with the computer, fewer steps. ( I like the second round of designs better!)
Brandy pics a design and we are off to the races.

So I went into the studio and started fabrication on the piece. I marked up the sheet using the stones as templates. the made bezels for each of the stones. I roughly cut out the sheet backing and soldered the bezel down to the sheet. This sounds a lot easier than it is. The small one went quickly, but the larger one took about 5 tries to get the solder to flow all the way around. I trimed the edges of the backing sheet and shaped them into ovals to match the cabochons. Then, filed, sanded and polished until all the edges were even and smooth. The I shaped the tubing into a curve. (Again easier said than done.) Tubing will collaps when you bend it unless you fill it up with something that will prevent that from happening. Some use pitch, some use ice, some use wire. I decided to combine two things and use bamboo skewer, shaved down to fit into the tube, then for added drama, I soaked it in water and froze it. I bent the tube, and it still kinked. But in the end I think it turned out alright. Maybe I will try pitch next time, (or purchase a piece of bent tubing.) I challenge my self by using the most basic of materials. I am beginning to understand that sometimes shortcuts are more about efficiency than laziness.

So I hope that Brandy and her recipient like the pendant. I am happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

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