Monday, 19 May 2014

Picking Up Where I Left Off

Back to That Blue-Grey Agate

Back on May 5, I posted a photo here of the roughing in of a big, bold agate pin. Of course, it being spring, I got side-tracked. There was the Mothers Day Show and Sale to prepare for (and unpack from). Then there is the garden — with the interior done, it is our project for this year.

Here Comes Summer

Hanging baskets are so rewarding, aren't they? Buy them, hang them; you've got a garden!

Our vegetable garden now contains various herbs plus lettuce, tomatoes and — if everything comes up — carrots and spinach. Pots of flowers brighten the patio area. We have also begun some heavy work to remove unwanted plants, enlarge the patio and prepare to change the gravel you see here to lawn. Can't wait — have you ever tried to rake laurel leaves out of gravel? All sounds like a plan for a restful summer, doesn't it?

Jewelers Bench Time

Today, I took a break from the yard to rest my back and turn my attention to the agate brooch.

There was not too much left to do. I had to solder on the pin hinge and catch, secure the pin into its hinge (and shorten it a touch so it will not stab someone).

Here, the polishing has begun. You can see how the claws to hold the stone were cut from the center of the brooch. I bent them up earlier and made sure the stone would fit. That little hammer was used to drift a texture across the brooch.

The final step was setting the lovely stone.

Here it is, just waiting for me to hammer and burnish the claws over the agate to hold it. The claws are fairly large because that stone has some size and weight. Would not want it to fall out later!

Agates are forever amazing. They come in many, many colors. This lovely, translucent one shades from a rich gold tone on one side, through blue-grey to almost white and is speckled with a deep, dark brown. A stone with character.

Take a Look Backstage

When I was photographing this brooch for my etsy shop, I included a view of the back. It shows how the claws were cut from the sterling plate and pulled to the front to grip the stone.

Obviously, this is not a pin for a summer dress. It's big and bold and needs to decorate a heavy scarf, sweater, jacket or coat. But, because people sometimes shop well ahead when buying online, I will probably list it later this week.

And, while I'm thinking of it, which term do you prefer — pin or brooch (sometimes broach)? I can never decide so always list them as both (or all three). Wonder if it's a regional thing?