Monday, March 13, 2017

03.13.17 Keep Calm and Solder On

Sticker from Rio Grande
When I took my second fabrication class, whatever I lacked in skill, I made up for in ambition.  The class was in March, and my husband has a March birthday (this year it ends with a zero!) - so I thought, I'll make a piece with a March birthstone - aquamarine - in his honor.

I sketched a design and bought a stone (a triangular cabochon, because setting a stone with corners was our first assignment), but there were some things I didn't account for...

...including that we were going to do this practice piece in a single evening, and that the smaller the stone, the trickier it is to set.

So there were things in the original sketch that didn't make it into the finished piece..and it's the only pendant I've made that didn't have a cut out on the back plate.  There was a little heart in the sketch - but not only was there no time to do that, I really didn't have sawing skills to do something that small quickly (yet).

It turned out okay, but I was feeling emboldened after resetting my thunderstorm labradorite, and decided I'd pop the stone out and make another new setting.  

This time, I did put a small heart cut out on the back and used serrated wire instead of a plain bezel.  I really like the look that the fancier bezel (also called gallery wire) gives the finished pieces.

The reworked piece makes me happy for so many reasons - for starters - my work is just cleaner than it was a year ago.

The corners are sharper,  the jump ring and bail are more appropriately sized to the pendant, and the opening on the back lets in light, which shows off the stone.

Both of my instructors for 201 happened to be in the studio when I was resetting this stone.  They smiled, said "good job" and encouraged me to keep making mistakes - and fixing them - because that's the best way to learn.

No project is ever going to be perfect, but every day in the studio gets me a little closer.
Until next time.

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