Monday, February 27, 2017

02.27.17 You go back, Jack, and do it again...

What a difference a year makes!  When I first wrote about this gray labradorite - and the pendant I made - I had really just begun designing and fabricating, and I was still working in sterling (now everything I do is in argentium).  

I wrote then that "when I saw this stone I had two thoughts...first, that I HAD TO have it; and second that it made me think of a Texas thunderstorm.  The shape is a perfect raindrop, and the color really is like the dark gray of a storm with flashes of lightning."  It still looks like that to me.

I decided to call it "Thunder and Lightning" and put a lightning bolt on the reverse.  I remember being pleased with pendant when I finished - given my skill level at the time - but since then, when I've pulled it out to wear, I looked at it and decided I wasn't happy after all. It was not because I hadn't done good work - I had, but I've learned so much since then.

With many, many more hours at the bench under my belt, I could see so many things I wanted to fix - I would just put it back in the drawer.  After doing that a few times, I decided I was going to take the stone out of the first setting and remake the pendant.

There were some things from the original concept that I definitely wanted to retain, like the lightning bolt and the twisted wire around the bezel - and other things that I wanted to improve.

The first time, the point on my bezel was crimped, I had flattened the granules in the process of sanding the piece, the list of newbie mistakes goes

I cut the bezel just enough to pop out the stone, and got busy making a new one - this time in argentium.  I kept the lightning bolt on the reverse, and the twisted wire - but I used serrated bezel wire, to echo the sharp edges in the lightning bolt, and put a small trio of granules at the bottom of the drop. 

I finished the metal work, then once again added patina.

The result was the pendant I had originally envisioned - when my ideas outpaced my ability.  It's really gratifying that a year (and many hours at the bench) later, I am able to produce the kind of work I really want to wear.

Until next time.

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