Friday, 2 August 2013

Rainy Day Work

August 2

All those warm sunny days kept the yard work coming - grass, weeds, weeds, grass. Have harvested lots of lettuce (despite the resident bunnies), some volunteer spuds and the first few zuchinnis. All very yummy. Also rebuilt some decaying pathways so things look neater now.

What has been missing is time at my bench. Yesterday, however, turned grey and showery so I pulled together the pieces for that abalone and moonstone pendant. 

It was nice to see that the moonstone cab will fit the bezel setting perfectly. The next step with this will be to set the claws into the backing and solder the bezel setting (will pull stone for that). After that, there will be lots of polishing before I can set the stones. This is still going to require several hours of bench time.

Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes, an idea comes from the simplest source.  I had, sitting on my bench, two sterling discs punched out to lighten this and a previous abalone pendant. Also sitting off to one side were three circles of square sterling wire left over from a bracelet.

As I picked them up to put away, It occured to me that they would make an interesting pair of earrings. I got a couple of small jump rings from my stash and set them together on the sandbag.

Liking how this looked, I filed the jump rings on one side so I could solder them to the discs. I also hammered the discs to give them some texture.


The next step was soldering; the jump rings to the faces and a pair of ear posts to the backs.  As the photo shows, soldering leaves the metal grey and dull. The cure is a bath in a mild acid solution called pickle.

The earrings came out of the pickle looking silvery but still not shiny.

Below, I have inserted the wire hoops into the jump rings. To ensure the ear posts are strong enough, this pair will get a run in my tumbler to polish and work-harden the metal.

The final step will be to get a set of good photos and list them in my etsy shop <https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DixSterling>

Expect to see them there soon ;-)

If the weather stays damp, I might get that pendant done soon, too!