Saturday, September 5, 2009

The importance of knowing when you're done.

Today's photo shows 2 new pieces I've made recently. While I'm moving up on the learning curve with my soldering and bezel settings, I'm still very much a newbie and things don't always turn out as perfectly as I'd like them to be. While I'm reasonably pleased with the green Chrysocolla Chalcedony ring, the ring shank turned out to be about 1/4 size too big for my hand (it's a 6.5). So, if you're a 6.5 ring size, speak up soon!

The purple/pink pendant stone, which I purchased while vacationing in Victoria, BC this summer, is a pink star ruby and a member of the labradorite family. I just fell in love with it because of its' unique color and depth. I had planned to set it with some ornamentation on the sides, but that didn't work out as I wanted, so I cut the ornamentation off and decided to just keep the setting simple and plain. That's always a good, last resort. After many hours of setting, pushing and burnishing the bezel, the stone was a still little loose in the setting. I had given up and decided it was good enough to just keep for myself and not worry about making it perfect. I'd chalk it up to a learning experience. But tonight as I shot the photo, the perfectionist crept up inside of me and forced me to pick up my pusher and burnisher tools. I've just spent the past hour trying to tighten it up. And I was successful at tightening the stone. Big mistake. You see, bezel wire is very thin fine silver and the more you push and stretch it to curve over the top of the stone, the thinner it gets. Well, I made it so thin that part of it chipped off where it meets the stone. Now the bezel is ragged and the stone is loose again. It's a lost cause. Tomorrow, I will probably just cut the setting apart, remove the stone and start all over again. I should have quit while I was ahead.

Meanwhile, I'm working on another pendant that I'm also having trouble with. While trying to solder a wire to the back of the pendant, I managed to solder the wire not only to the pendant back, but to my third hand as well. I had to cut the wire apart from the third hand and cut the wire off of the back of the pendant, too. Lot's of sanding later, I'm afraid it's going to end up being another pendant just for me.

My motto for this weekend is "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again." I have to keep reminding myself that I'm having fun. Even as I make mistakes, I am learning.

I hope you're having a wonderful, creative holiday this weekend!


  1. Hang in there Sandy, even with years of experience, I still don't always have things turn out the way my mind envisioned them. That's where the creativity part comes in. Trying to salvage what I messed up.
    I love the colors of those stones. Especially the pink/purple one.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes the salvage turns out better than the original plan. As I mess things up, at least I'm learning what I don't know, what I need to work on and what to ask in my next class, which starts in another week :)
    I am drawn to colors when I pick stones. Although in this early stage, I'm only using the less expensive stones - just in case I slip and sctatch it. I'm using nothing that I'd cry over if I ruin it.
    Happy creating!

  3. Bless your heart. I know how frustrating all of that can be. The pieces are gorgeous. Lexi reminds me that everyone makes mistakes...she's melted her share of bezels. We all learn from these side steps in our work. I like to think of it as another direction being provided and the end result will be much better than the first attempt! I look forward to seeing more pictures of your beautiful work.

  4. Thank you Kathleen,
    I am learning to laugh at myself - alot! I too, think the pink pendant will turn out better the second time around. I did cut the setting apart and removed the stone, but haven't gone back to start it again, yet. Nice to hear even Lexi has melted bezels :)