Sunday, 12 June 2016

Blue Duet

A Pair of Larimar and Kyanite Studs

I have a brand new love — larimar. The tropical ocean blues of these stones from the Dominican Republic have begun to lure me. Since I'm not likely to get to where they are, I will have to settle for bringing them to me— and making jewelry with them.

Finding the Design

I pondered several ideas for a pair of earrings before deciding I would like to use two shades of blue for these: the sea blue of larimar and the denim blue of kyanite. I have been experimenting with oval shapes lately, so that worked for the two stone concept. This photo shows the plan laid out in my shop notebook. As the work progresses, I use these pages to add notes about stone sizes, what they cost me, and the amount of sterling silver needed to create the item. Not only does that help me set the price, but it also means I can — more or less — duplicate a piece if a client requests it after the original has sold.

Gathering the Parts

Some time ago, a very dear client (you know who you are) was kind enough to send me several of these tiny, screw top plastic pots. I hope she knows how super useful they are to me for projects like this. Just look at all the pieces: two larimar cabs, two kyanite cabs, two silver ovals, two 10 mm bezels, two 3 mm bezels and (not in the photo) two pairs of ear posts and butterfly clasps. I am using two wee pots so I can keep the earrings separate. Minor variations in stones mean each must get set into its own handcrafted bezel. Organization may not seem to be part of creativity, but it most certainly is!

Testing the Fit

Here, I am using pieces of dental floss under the stones while I check that they fit perfectly into the bezels. If the fit is super snug, those bits of floss help extract the stones as I still have to solder on the earring post and do a lot of polishing before I set them for good.

The Photo Session

A bright and sunny afternoon plus a skylight makes for perfect lighting. Time to get the photos done and edited so these can take their place in my shop <>