I bought this flourite cabochon a little while ago but it’s taken me a little while to come up with a way to set it. It has quite intense colour striations, especially the purple, and I was concerned it would look dark and muddy once set. So I put it to one side, got on with other things and kept it on the back burner. Luckily it didn’t fall down the back of the cooker!
I came up with the idea of putting a gap between the stone and the back of the setting, to allow light to enter the stone from behind, and figured a shiny surface would act as a mirror as well. I’d textured an oval with a leaf skeleton using the rolling mill, and soldered an oval to the rear of it for strength. Initially I added a cross of wire to the back, bent up around the oval to form claws which would be soldered to the bezel, but it looked a bit too Heath Robinson, even for me! So I took that off, and cut small lengths of 2mm sterling wire to use as upright posts. I soldered these to the base oval, squared them off and added a ring of reticulated silver to the top post before soldering the bezel (also leaf textured) on top. A few hours in the tumbler while I went out for lunch, a quick dip in liver of sulphur to oxidise it, and then the polishing begun! Once I had a finish I was happy with, I set the fluorite into the bezel and gave it a final polish, before hanging it from a black satin cord with sterling silver ends and a twist of fine wire just above the pendant to stop it from slipping.
Time to test the theory and emerge squinting from the shed… I’m delighted with it, it worked really well. I’d love to know what you guys think!
After the two day summer some of us had at the very beginning of October, I for one was quite relieved to look out of the window to see that normal service has been resumed. Rain, gray sky and a snuggly jumper 🙂 Autumn is one of my very favourite times of year, and I just love the colours and the leaves falling from the trees. I had some tiny discs of silver that were just begging to be a seasonal pair of earrings. If you like them, click here to make them yours!
School holidays have taken their toll on not just time to be creative, but time to blog about it as well. It was Beardy’s birthday last week, and as well as a solid silver guitar pick, I also made him a pendant using a leaf from his favourite tree, a small oak in our garden which we have had from an acorn.
When I first started working with precious metal clay and did it all by the book, there was a project that involved painting a lots of slip onto the back of a leaf, and firing with the leaf in situ. But at that stage, I didn’t have enough scrap clay to make slip with, so never tried. Until this month…
I chose a few likely candidates to try apart from the oak leaf, namely a couple of maple leaves, ivy leaves and a beech leaf. Many layers of slip painted on and dried on a mug warmer later, it was time to clean all the clay from the front of the leaves and do a little light filing around the edges, but not too much, because it was so delicate at this stage. A very smoky five minutes under the blowtorch, and some more filing and tidying, and the finished article emerged. Beardy was very pleased with it, but still preferred his Ford Mustang seatbelt belt…. Hey ho.
I just love the textures you can find in nature, and combining them with shiny silver really floats my boat. This elegant 18mm domed disc pendant on an 18″ sterling silver belcher chain features the impression of a skeleton leaf, the texture of the veins are defined by an oxidised finish.
You can buy it here!
- Fine Silver Leaf Skeleton Pendant, £25