Monday, May 31, 2010

Tube settings

I spent many hours over Memorial Day weekend at the jewelry bench. I took my coffee out to the garage in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday and worked until Ben woke up several hours later. I haven't felt that absorbed in the jewelry for a long time and was nice to fall back into it.

I am part of an online jewelry community that provides me great resources and inspiration for the work I do with metal and glass. The forum is full of talented artists who are willing to share their knowledge and support others. On the site, there is a section where members can opt to have their individual blogs feed in as the posts are published. Recently on the forum, I read a blog post by Melissa Muir giving a tutorial on using bezel punches to set faceted stones in sterling tubes. I couldn't help myself...immediately after reading the post, I went to the Contenti and Rio sites and ordered a set of bezel punches, some heavy walled sterling tubing, and a variety of faceted stones--semi-precious stones with a few cubic zirconia thrown in for good measure.

I have never really been drawn to the faceted stones. I don't know why, but I generally prefer larger, bulky stones in irregular shapes and the faceted stones seemed very dainty to me. After making the amethyst pendant for my sister, I realized I had been very wrong about the faceted stones...I would take that amethyst out and just stare at it sometimes because of the way it caught the light.

So Melissa's tutorial led me to try the tube settings in these pendants. I polished them first, but decided to go with a matte finish on them. I learned a lot by making several at once, and some are better than others, but I'm generally happy with all of them.

I can't get over the colors of the stones in this picture--I took it outside and the natural light really makes a difference.

...and the final product of the one that needed a chain:

Thanks, Melissa!

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