Monday, March 11, 2019

03 25.19 Downsizing

...if you are one of my kids, or friends, don't worry - we're not selling the house - I'm talking about pendants, and experimenting with working smaller.

Smaller is not easier...bezels are thinner, corners are tighter and backplates have less space for cut out designs.  That said, after working for a couple of years now on what I would call mostly "medium sized" (30-40 mm stones - which translates into one to one and a half inches tall), I decided I would try some smaller pieces.

The smallest piece I've done so far was the triangular aquamarine I set (for the first time) in my 201 class - not realizing that I was creating extra challenges for myself by choosing a tiny stone for my first project with corners.

The stone is only about five-eighths of an inch long on each side.  I fabricated a pendant in class, but wasn't really happy with it because it didn't have a cut out - so some months later I reworked it.

I'm happier with it - and wear it now - but after that I pretty much stopped working with anything small and focused on improving my skills - and stocking my shop - with somewhat larger stones.

I had purchased a few stones over time that were smaller than I realized, and had some others that had been included as gifts by some of my lapidary end of last year I started playing around with them.

The first two I worked with were fluorite and striped glass cabs each only a little larger than a dime. I was pleased, and listed them - they are smallest pieces currently in my Etsy shop.

This year, after finishing several custom orders and putting a few new pieces in the shop, I decided I would spend some time working not only on smaller stones, but with techniques that I had not used much over the past year.

If you take a careful look at the photo of the first aquamarine pendant, you will see it has a straight bezel...but neither of the other two pieces shown do. 

I like the look of the decorative bezels (also called gallery wire), especially with the twisted wire around it - but, it's also much easier to work with than the straight edge.

After pulling out and wearing my Heimlich pendant, which I made in my kinetics class - and does have a straight bezel - I decided I'd spend some time on small stones, straight bezels and riveted bails.

It's been fun; I have another bug, and two lovely long narrow pendants that I'm keeping...but look for some smaller selections to start appearing in the shop as well.

Until next time.

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