Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Some of those opals I have been stumped on how to set them...then I remembered the magic of lost wax casting! I whipped up two waxes, they need a little polishing up but you'll get the idea:
Its a lady, and she is giving me a hand.

And a wave. This one should be nice: the grey inclusions on the opal will look like ocean spray if I can pull it off! I'm excited to clean these up a bit more and cast them.

Monday, November 29, 2010


While this month hasn't seen alot of pieces getting finished I did get a chance to explore stonecutting. Lapidary work is really an art until itself. The batch of stones I bought was from a "trashpile" an opal mine owner was selling. Most the stones were in the $3-10 per stone pile. The lot of stones I bought:
Stone A I cut out the opal. The back still needs shaping, but the fire is pretty amazing! I reminds me of a frozen lake with moonlight highlighting the ice.

Stone B was hard to cut out. It had cleavage on both sides, I knew there was an intersting stone inside, but figuing out what it was supposed to be was the hard part. Once I saw the potential shape, cutting it went so quick and smooth!
Stone C, on the otherhand, was a toughy! Its just a little sliver that is a dead grey one direction, but from the sides its an ultra-violet purple! Its been hard trying to figure out how to orient it so it gets the best light, and to cut away the matrix without cutting out the color. Now that I've cut it down further blues are starting to flash. I have no idea what i'll use this stone for, but one I figure it out it will be pretty amazing.
Then there is stone D. Its really more a royal purple, but my camera can't seem to pick up that color. this layer was sandwiched between the matrix. Pity the point on this stone ws already broken off! might make a good modernist piece anyway.
This stone I had already cut when I took the picture of the lot. Its pretty, but I'm stumped about what to do with it.
So these are my opals. I hope next time I get the chance to buy some opal in the rough, I can. I'm only using my flex shaft to cut and polish, so the polishing is taking probably longer than it would on professional lapidary equpitment. Still, not bad for a begginner. I look forward to seeing what these stone become when I set them.


I got these done in October. They were partly experiements stemming from my reticulation attempt, partly jsut to get something done. They seem rather wiccan in design, though i didn't mean for that. I have had success flush setting small stones, now hopefully i can transfer that skill to larger stones!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creating Settings for Roman Coins

A long time ago I was asked by my mother to fix a pair of earrings. But because they had patinaed Roman coins bezel set in them, I decided to recreate the settings. I started off with this:
First thing to do was measure where I wanted the bezel, and where I wanted to open the backs.

After measuring I sawed out part of the silver disk to both lighten it and allow the backs of the coins to be seen. I then polished the disks lightly because I would be sautering the bezel on soon.

I created the bezels using fine silver, before sautering on the the disks i need to check that the coins fit.


Once I had everything attached  I had to polish. Polishing around the beads was difficult, but I got it. Finally, I set the coins and gave one last polish.

The final earrings are a little rough, and the beads do not match each other perfectly. But, the coins themselves don't match each other, and are rather rough. I wanted to give it that slightly imperfect look.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The gallery

Druzy Quartz set with Diamonds and Silver

Silver heart with movable wings

Silver and Sapphire Pendant
Silver Art Neuvo Style Pendant with Gold Embelishments

The Final Product

After setting silver into the stone, I created a bezel and ring for it. It is like an organic cocktail ring.
I am quite happy with the result. From a lowly beach stone, to art.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Almost there!

It has been a while since I have completed any pieces. I have been focusing on getting down flush setting, which had been difficult as i have no one to compare my tools/techniques to. And while my flush setting seems to be running at a 40% sucess rate, my tube setting seems to be working much better. I fabricated a pendant out of wire (Fabrication itself being a skill i am working on!) and before I took the dive of setting the stone, I did a little test setting Hey, it worked! So I finally got the guts up to set my stone in my pendant and:

I know I should have put the chain on before setting, but I havent any chain and was hot to try and set my stone. But then there was the issue of my test setting...what do i do with that? Well, I figured pop it in a stone I've been polishing and see if that works.

Now I need to create a bezel and shank and I'll have a nice little ring.