Thursday, June 11, 2009
It isn't quite done yet, but I made enough headway on my cabochon ring last night that I am wearing it nonetheless!
The ring took me about 2 1/2 classes to make. I was working on components of it while I finished up my prong set ring, so I'm not entirely sure of the timing but 7 1/2 hours seems like a fair estimate. I had to cut bars from my ingot to make the stone surround and the stone's back plate. Solder and shape those and solder them together. Drill a hole for a cutout behind the stone. Design, create components for, shape and attach the ring, then set the stone by filing, pressing and using power tools. Still on the agenda: the ring needs to be filed, sanded and polished and the setting is secure, but it could be a touch tighter.
In "the real world", as opposed to in the jewelry lab where I have oodles of expensive machinery at my disposal, I'll be able to make rings like this one by using pre-formed bezel wire and silver plate. The techniques will be the same, except I'll be buying my metals in components that won't require me to have thousands of dollars worth of machinery on hand. Full disclosure though, MACHINERY WILL STILL BE INVOLVED. When I set cabochon stones at home I won't be using a rolling mill or machine polisher . . . but I will still be using my flex shaft rotary tool for drilling, oodles of different hand tools including a hand burnisher, my torch and a polishing attachment for my flex shaft.
Oh, hai! I am a nerd.
I just love the stone in this ring. It is a Labradorite, one of my favorites. I bought it online from Fire Mountain Gems and, although their quality is always stellar, this particular stone blew me away. It is GORGEOUS. Tons of iridescent blue, green and even RED flash. I caught a little in the photos, but in person it is breathtaking.
Have you ever been to Disneyland? And have you ever ridden Star Tours? You know the scene where you're flying through the comets and they're all sparkling and glowy and pretty? That's what this stone looks like.
What was that about nerds, again?