Story of the SapphireI recently opened a new shop, SterlingByDix, on ArtYah <http://www.artyah.com/> I don't know how it will work out but it can't be worse than trying to sell on etsy these days, where a search for "sterling silver earrings" brings up 337,403 listings! Pretty hard to be found in such a crowd. On top of that, "handmade" has become pretty meaningless there so I feel it is time to try a venue that is serious about handmade. Fingers crossed.
One of the items I have listed at ArtYah is a sapphire pendant. Here is a bit about bringing it to life.
InspirationSome months ago, a client sent me some hand-cut gems to set for her. Among them, a round zircon and an emerald-cut yellow beryl. This is what I came up with.
Knowing the limit of my skills, I opted for purchased basket settings for the stones (bless supplier RioGrande for those). I had to do some customizing on the one for the emerald-cut beryl so I ordered a spare in case I messed up on that. Happily, my alterations were perfect so I had a basket mount left over. Not keen on waste, I purchased a lab-grown sapphire that would drop into the setting without any adjustments and set about designing a pendant to mount it.
Reticulation AgainIf you follow this blog, you know I love the look of reticulated sterling silver. That was what I used on the custom pendant and it really set off the faceted stones, so I chose it for the sapphire, too.
Below, the first step in the process. I had this piece of reticulated sterling on standby so all I had to do was cut it to suit the sapphire (instead of having to do 8 - 10 heating and cooling steps before melting the surface to achieve the texture).
Ready, Set, Set (the Stone, That Is)I cut the piece, sanded and polished its edges, and mounted the basket setting on it and added a highly polished bail. Below, I am ready to set the sapphire.
While taking photos (for both etsy and ArtYah), I also put the piece on a turntable and shot a very short video. There is always something new to try! I hope it will work here.