Monday, July 9, 2018

07.09.18 Down the tube...ok, not really. Kinetic Jewelry, Part 3

On the last day of class, De wanted me to think about things that move in multiple directions...and told me to look online at more examples of kinetic jewelry. 

After a couple of rounds of me asking "what about this" and being met with a response of "nope, too simple", I decided to start doodling as I looked...

...what I came up with was a pair of earrings with tube set stones that spin on a wire, inside a ring that hangs on the same wire.  I got a nod - it was an acceptably complex project.

First, I had to decide how big I wanted the circles to be, then I had to calculate the sizes for the pieces of tube.  The horizontal tube needed to be long enough to set the stones, and short enough that it still turned inside the ring.

The vertical pieces had to fit between the top and bottom of the ring so that the wire could thread all the way through (essentially a very long tube rivet) and hold the pieces together.

The horizontal tubes had to be marked and drilled so that the smaller, vertical tubes could be soldered into place, creating the setting for the stones inside the circle.  Then the circles needed to be drilled so that the rivet wire could be fed through them (De did that for me.)

After that, it was frankly, a pretty straightforward process to assemble them - although there was still a fair amount of work to setting the stones in the tubes before threading the wire through them.

I hadn't expected to revisit tube setting stones (another 201 skill) but I'm really glad I did...and like so many of the other techniques that seemed difficult the first time, I was surprised at the ease with which I could do them now.

I chose 4mm blue and white CZs - one in each earring - and used a vice to hold the tubes in place while I drilled them and set the stones.

I decided to use my first day back in the studio after class to try my hand at using my new skills without the benefit of having De around.  I had a good day - tube setting a small opal on a riveted bail - with the stone covering the front rivet.

I don't expect to add riveted bails or tube settings to all my work going forward, but it's fun and very satisfying to know that if I want to, I certainly can.

Until next time.

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