Monday, 18 May 2015

May 18

Canadian Long Weekend — Victoria Day

Holiday in honor (honour here) of Queen Victoria, of course, and, traditionally, the start of summer. Never mind that a friend in Winnipeg posted a photo of their new snow this morning — it's summer in Canada. Kinda gives new meaning to "The Great White North" doesn't it?

I have celebrated (if that's the right word) this weekend by:
1. mowing the lawns (no snow on the west coast)
2. vacuuming and dusting the house
3. scrubbing bath and kitchen floors.
Looks more like Labor (Labour) Day to me! Currant pain level; medium to high.

That was Dix. DixSterling Also Busy

Despite lawn and house, I did get some work done on custom jewelry orders.

First, the Ring

I fully agree – this does not, in any way, look like a ring. The reason? To make a ring, you cut a strip of metal, then bend it to make the ends meet. If the ring is to have any width to speak of, you just can't make that happen with a ring shape so you sort of flatten it until you get a good join. Then you solder it and you have something un-ring-like. Shaping comes next.

Oh, Look. It's Round!

To the right, the ring after considerable pounding — using a rawhide mallet on on my steel ring mandrel.

There is still a lot of finishing work to go. That file will shape  and smooth the edges so it will be comfortable to wear. I will follow up with several grades of sandpaper (going ever finer grits) and a number of buffing steps.

Further back on my bench, you can see a Lapis Lazuli cabochon. It's actually one of a pair. Read on.

Small Lapis Studs

This pair of Lapis cabs are destined for a pair of studs for someone's very special day. Can't say who or what, of course. I can keep a secret with the best of them (just ask my kids).

When the request for earrings came in, I had no Lapis on hand so I visited my supplier and was delighted to find this really lovely, closely matched pair in just the right size.

I also picked up a nice pair of Kyanite cabs. They were too big for this project but much too pretty to leave behind. (Okay, I'm a confirmed stone hoarder).

Laying Out Design

I will be bezel mounting the Lapis cabs on small hammered sterling silver square studs. This shows the first square marked and ready for cutting.

Over the next few days, if the grass doesn't grow too fast, I should be able to finish these (they are on a deadline) and the ring.

Now it's time to set up the BBQ —

Happy Victoria Day, Canada