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 vendors...so...the 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.