Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Challenge-Process

Back at the beginning of January, a friend showed me a beautiful Snow White Druzy. As soon as I saw it, I KNEW I had to have it! (So I STOLE it!! Bought it right out from under her!! I didn't really even mind the fact that she had licked it....much!) I had absolutely NO clue what I would do with it, but it was so unbelievably beautiful; I bought it!
When it arrives I am shocked by how large it is. It measures 2 inches tall by 1 and a half inches far and away the largest stone I will have worked with.
Now its design time and the ONLY thing I can do to stabilize it is a prong mount. All I can think is, "How ordinary!". I have an aversion to "ordinary".

I go to work by making my prong mounting; which, at this point, is very rudimentary. Once I have completed that I start looking at how best to accentuate this stone. Now something happens to me that hasn't happened before....I become paralyzed with fear! I'm not sure why. I have messed up PLENTY of metal before! I head to my forum. "Go for it", is the response I get!

That's when it happened.....I became very Zen with this project and it flowed! I cut out a sheet of silver to act as a collar and stamped the words, live, laugh. and love on it. I then soldered it closed and....the stone still fit!!! (I had anticipated a failure here!) Now comes the tricky part....I have to mount this collar into my prong setting, allowing enough space below the stone for the stone to be held securely in the prong mount. Okay so here....I improvised. I placed the stone into the collar and set the whole thing into the prong mount and marked the placement with a sharpie. (HEY! whatever works! Right?)

I did the BEST pic soldering I have EVER done and Wa-La the mount is done!! Now to add a bail!

I had one filigree bead left and I was determined to use it on this project! Problem was small. I know...add tubing!!! (At this point I MUST thank whoever suggested the hobby tube cutter to me! It was the best seven bucks Ive spent!!) Again I pic solder; first to attach the tubing to the bead, then to attach the bail to the pendant.

I wont go into detail here as this is the dull point where I clean up the setting and mount the stone.

At the end of the day I cant explain how I felt! I had ventured out of my comfort zone, put all the lessons I had learned in Metalsmithing to use, and completed an exceptional piece!