Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cacoxenite in Amethyst Pin-The Making Of

Last week I bought some new stones. Right away I wanted to create the setting for my cacoxenite amethyst. First, though, I had a crooked cut trilliant/pear shaped amethyst i had to make a basket setting for. Well, honestly I have never created a full basket setting.  Sure, my raw opal pendant is a basket, but it doesnt have two galleries...only one. Plus, being raw opal I didnt feel the need to make the baskets perfect---because the stones weren't! Alright, so this creating this basket I knew was going to be a challenge. First I created the upper and lower galleries (aka, the triangley shapes) Then, since i used thinner gauge wire for the gallery i notched the thicker wires for the prongs where i wanted to solder the gallery.

Most jewelers using binding wire or stab the wire into a charcol block because tweezers act as heat sinks...but i suck at using binding wire, so I'm using tweezers to hold my wires in place. I started with hard on all these joints.

Again I notched the wire where the second gallery is to lay. 3 of the 4 joints in the first solder where touching, so i soldered those three still using hard. The 4th joint i adjusted a little to make contact and moved to medium solder to keep my other joints from opening.

In the mean time, I was building the main piece. My little beads for the bezel.

Look! It fits!

The bezel is ready, too...now i have to create a bail and attatch them

Once I got the bail on I finally cut the excess wire off the back end.

Sadly, The bail was a little long and looked funny, so I added some tubing for an accent stone.

It don't loook funny no more! All soldered together.

Now to polish...There were lots of hard to reash stops that my polishing wheels couldnt reach, so I had to polish using thread with tripoli on it.

All polished up.

Almost done, but that darn accent amethyst on top keeps falling off my bench and disappearing! My niece managed to find it the first time.

All set and all finished.

Very classical in design with a modern stone. I decided to go with a style that wont be passe in ten years. This one is going into the CMAG Spring Jewelry show.


  1. Wow! I've always wondered how jewelers did that. It's pretty cool. And I really like the juxtaposition between the clear, cool amethyst and the warm cats eye. Lovely.

  2. Gorgeous and a lot of work!

    New Giveaway http://christiecottage.blogspot.com/2011/03/win-it-wednesday-new-giveaway-and_23.html

  3. Wow, such intricate work, fantastic capture of your process. And, most importantly, lovely piece!