Thursday, 19 November 2015

November 19

Snazzy Yellow Convertible

By now, you know I have developed a weakness for pretty stones so it's no surprise that I could not resist a glittery, 8 mm faceted citrine. I just had to set it.

Glitter Atop Shimmer

I was so pleased with the look of the setting I did for a client's hand-cut stones (see post of October 6), that I decided to reticulate some more sterling silver for this beauty. As I had a sneaky trick in mind for this piece, I settled on an equilateral triangle for the back plate. Here is my sketch the pieces, before soldering the stone setting onto the piece. That took a bit of doing.

Bits and Pieces

This photo shows the various parts I needed for this project: the citrine, of course, the triangular sterling plate, the claw mount for the stone, the pin findings and a nifty little gadget I got from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply.

When all these bits are assembled, the piece of jewelry will be convertible. The brooch (or pin) can be converted into a pendant by slipping that hollow tube piece on the right onto the pin stem: a neat little bail lets the owner slip the piece onto a chain to wear it as a pendant.  (Thanks to a friend on The Handmade Forum for planting that idea in my head).

If It Isn't Flat, It Won't Solder

A solder joint requires a perfect fit between the two pieces, in this case, the claw mount and the back plate. Reticulated silver is glorious and I love how it sets off a stone but that lumpy surface presents a soldering problem.

The solution is to grind down the area where the solder must go. Here is the plate, captured in a jeweler's engraving block. I mounted the block in my vice and used a diamond grinding bur in my flex shaft tool to flatten the marked area.

The rest of this is pretty standard work. I soldered the setting to the front, then positioned and soldered the pin hinge and catch onto the back. Last step, mounting that brilliant citrine where it can adorn some lucky woman's lapel or neck!

Want to find this under your tree? It will be at DixSterling on etsy soon.