Sunday, May 26, 2013

What I've Been Up To: May 19 - 25

Here's what I've been doing at my jewelry desk for the past week...

I've been swimming in a sea of mixed metal stacking rings! I spent most of my time this week trying to keep up with making custom ring orders. Here's just one (light) day's stack of rings ready to go into the tumbler.

I got to try out a new set of silicone polishing wheels, which definitely speeds up the clean-up time on the brass rings.

I did manage to make a completely new necklace this week, too. I've been holding onto some sterling gallery wire bezel that I've been trying to figure out where to use. I ran across a random pearl cabochon in my stash that was perfect for the gallery wire bezel. I got everything shaped and soldered and then dunked it all in some liver of sulfur solution to darken it and ended up with a rainbow of iridescent blue, green, yellow and red. I kinda wish I knew what I was doing to get these colors, because I always end up with them when I don't want them, but can't figure out how to get them when I try!

In any case, a quick polish brought the colors down to a more subdued gray (with still some green and blue flashes in the chain) and then I set the pearl (which is ridiculously easy with gallery wire, love it!). I still need to get some nicer pictures, but here's a quick shot with my iPhone.

It has kind of a medieval flavor to it and I really like the little handmade S-hook clasp I made with the little pearl dangle. I'm looking into getting some rose cut or plain gemstone cabochons to make some variations on this necklace. I think onyx would be a nice contrast. And of course I'm always partial to amethyst...

My husband and I went for a bit of a drive yesterday across the mountains, just to explore. We ended up in Ellensburg, WA and as soon as we rolled into town, we ran across a rock shop/bead store! Its like it was meant to be. They cut their own cabochons in-house, so I spend quite a while drooling over their rough slabs, wishing I had the space, equipment, and know-how to cut my own cabs, then I picked out a few finished cabochons.

The color isn't great in this picture, but that's a red jasper and three turquoise. I'm going to make the teardrop into a pendant and the pointed ovals into a pair of matching earrings. It's probably better for my wallet that this shop is so far away. My husband had to practically drag me out!

Until next week!

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