Sunday, 5 October 2014

Weekend Work

Fall Fashions Demand Pins

Come fall, we don coats and jackets — and their lapels cry out for pins. We also wear a lot of those lovely, cozy scarves and, to keep them from blowing away in the winds of autumn, we we secure them with pins.

Despite the frustration that pin findings present (they are small, fussy and darned hard to solder on in proper alignment), I really love designing and making brooches (broaches, pins, as you choose). I already have several in my etsy shop.

Big, Bold, Broochs

Left: I love the blue-grey tones lurking in this big oval agate. I set it with four clips brought up from the sterling plate. I cut away most of the area behind the stone to lighten the pin and to allow more light to come through the lovely agate.

To Go: Russian Charoite with Amethyst on the Side

Right: I love this deep purple Russian Charoite. These glorious stones are only found in an area of Siberia north-east of Lake Baikal. Loving the color, I couldn't resist adding that sweet amethyst cabochon. Gilding the lily, I guess, but — why not?

Neither of these would be of any use in the summer when you wear those silks and cottons but, come fall, they are perfect.

New Pin Underway

So, it being October, I am starting another pin. As always, I began by annealing a piece of sterling silver, cutting out a shape and filing all edges and corners. The came sanding. And sanding. And sanding.


This one is an off-kilter pentagon and is intended to showcase a lovely, oval tourmalated quartz. These delightful stones, found in Brazil, are clear or milky quartz and contain black tourmaline needles. The effect is quite striking.

If the Stone Fits. . .

The bezel is okay. I love that because fitting an oval (or any non-round) bezel is a bit tricky. If it is a touch too small, you can stretch it on a round bezel mandrel and then re-shape it around the stone. If it is too big, there is nothing for it but to cut it open, remove a sliver of material and then solder it closed again. Crashing bore!

I took one of my hammers (a riveting hammer) and created all those dashes. When the whole thing is finished, I will darken the lines — hopefully that will echo the black inclusions in the stone. Should be a very handsome piece.