Do you all remember this...?
For those of you who regularly read my blog you will remember that many weeks ago in this post I mentioned that my next project at my silversmithing class was to set an unusual stone. I bought this lovely piece of agate. After many weeks of work I can finally reveal the finished piece.
Here it is....I am very pleased with it. I have shown it here on a chain I already own (no not handmade, I still have to get the time to make one!)
I know that many of you really enjoy seeing the design process of my silversmithing so I thought that I would take you through it in this post.
The first thing I had to do was decide on the type of setting I wanted. As the stone is quite stunning by itself I did not want too elaborate a setting. The cut agate has a wonderful depth to it, almost as if "looking through a forest". I had the idea of looking at it through "branches" which would serve as claws. I searched through lots of books and finally decided that a silver flattened wire border which did not quite encase the stone was the way for me to go.
I sketched some designs and then made some practice pieces first in metal wire and then in copper so that I could get a feel of how silver wire would behave.
I finally decided that "icicle" type shapes would really suit my stone.
This is the blue wire I practiced with first and then I tried forming the claws in copper.
I also got an idea of how the claws could lie across the stone.
Before I could attach any claws I had to make the base setting for the stone using silver sheet. I needed to make a "bezel" setting which would hold the stone in place and also serve as an attachment for the wire claws.
Once the bezel setting was in place on the silver sheet I cut round the shape with a saw.
After several small stages of soldering I had all the pieces in place.
I decided that I wanted my chain to be hung from behind the pendant and come up at a less acute angle than that seen by hanging it from a bail at the top. To achieve this I had to make 2 small curved pieces of silver and solder them onto the back of the setting. This was not easy and keeping those 2 pieces in place took lots of balancing! The hole in the back was to enable me to push the stone out before it was permanently fitted.
Next it was time to polish my piece and I used a combination of hand, motor and barrel polishing to achieve a mirror finish.
Here it is again in close up on the chain...and yes at some point I really do plan to make another chain. If only there were more weeks in my jewellery class year! There are only 7 more weeks left of this year at my class, I think someone has been making time fly by. We are now working on an enamelling project which I hope to finish by the end of term. Fingers crossed. I will keep you posted and hopefully have something new to show you at the end of June. I really enjoy sharing all my "making and doing" with you all, I find this blogging world such a kind, friendly place to be. Thanks always for visiting me here and for all your lovely comments you take the time to leave me. Hello also to my "silent readers" - I really do appreciate your visits.
Sending you all some more of this most wonderful sunshine we have now enjoyed for over a month. Bliss!
Bye for now,