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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Successes and Failures

Well, I am learning about the myriad ways to screw up my metalwork. :-) Fortunately, I've had some successes to offset the challenges. Here are some things I've made that have turned out reasonably well.

Watermelon tourmaline ring {sold}

Labradorite ring {sold}

Sunstone ring

Labradorite pendant

For anyone else out there who does this kind of work, the two things that are frustrating me the most right now are (a) how the heck can I get an oval shaped bezel cup perfectly perpendicular to the ring band so it sits straight? and (b) what is the best type of bail and how should I attach it to a bezel set pendant? I've had several break off... Any suggestions???

Last night I sat down and made a couple of beaded necklaces. The first one is a very simple design incorporating some incredibly large and beautiful faceted aquamarine rondelles.

This next necklace was an attempt to part with some of my favorite labradorite beads. I love to hoard them, but they really deserve to get out in the world and do some living, don't you think?


jerilouise said...

I might have to answer that you should not keep the labradorite ring for yourself; I think it really wants to come home with me. It is very beautiful.

Robin Marie said...

Metalwork has its challenges, no doubt about it!

I'm still blown away by how clean your bezels are.

What surface are you soldering on? Pumice blocks (the soft ones) are really good for oddly shaped objects because you can cut into them and make, say, a groove to balance out your bezel. I highly recommend Heikki Seppa's Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths and Tim McCreight's The Complete Metalsmith if you don't already own them. Their both inexpensive and absolutely priceless.

For bails I keep a heavy gauge wire on hand, rolled partly flat. Half an inch of it in the shape of a U soldered on the back works nicely. I guess that depends on the size of the pendant, though. If they're breaking off at the joint make sure you're not using too much solder and not actually getting a connection between the metals.

Javajem said...

That labradorite ring is just amazing!

I miss metalwork - I used to set stones and make rings in college. I don't have the equipment to do it at home - but seeing your work inspires me to get back into it!