OK, I admit it; I’ve been teasing Sabine just a little in making her wait to see what I’ve done with her bead. But part of the delay has also been ‘cos I’ve been so busy with my Open studios exhibition. More on that in another post.
So, let’s get right in there and show you the finished item. I think that this is the best view.
At the end of the last post I left open the question of how I might solve the problem of the large gap that I had left around the bead.
A bezel setting such as this is a classic solution to dealing with an irregularly shaped stone: cutting it to make ’claws’ allows the irregularities to be accommodated.
In this case, I think that it fits particularly well with the feel of the bead, albeit that it hides rather more than I originally hoped. But not too much, I hope, as you will see from this ‘full frontal’ shot.
Just some final bits of detail: the black band down the middle is done with Liver of Sulphur – essentially it is a rather extreme layer of tarnish. It should wear really well, but to protect it, I have polished to whole piece with Renaissance Wax.
The marks toward the base are the hallmarks. I like to have them on the outside of the piece rather than hidden on the back, but you may think otherwise.
I’d be interested in comments on that.
I mentioned in an earlier post that the bead is about 3cm diameter, so you can work out that the piece is about 10cm long and 4cm wide overall. What doesn’t show so well is that I have set it on a 4mm rubber cord, which I think
works very well.
I was always intending to gold-plate one or other side of the pendant, but the addition of the bezel solved that debate for me, as you can see.
Here’s a final view from the other ‘side’.
At the end of the last post, I was ready to start forming the piece into the body to carry the bead. It’s a case of taking off my jeweller’s hat, and putting on my silversmith’s cap.
BUT….. (the cliff-hanger at the end of the episode – queue drum beats……) the idea of setting the bead on a spindle was partly to enable it to rotate so you could choose which way round to wear it. However, as I feared all along, really, the bead is not symmetrical enough to be able to let it turn in its setting.
Worse, in messing around trying to open up the setting to let it turn, I have made I have made the hole in the top a bit larger than it should be. Doesn’t look good.
Gonna have to come up with something to tidy things up.
Am I going to tell you why I call it Piaf’s bead? Nah, not the full story anyway. It’s just my nickname for Sabine, the maker. Here’s her description of it:
From my design book
Other people had the same reaction as I: the bead has quite a reptilian feel to it. So, as well as the pendant having a lot of ‘body’, I began to experiment with how to texture it to give a snakeskin feel.
One thing that you soon learn when making jewellery is that you end up making a lot of your own tools yourself. A 4″ oval nail was soon filed to shape and I tested using as a punch to mark the piece of scrap silver sheet over on the left of the picture (yes, I put it on the scanner along with the page from my notebook).
Satisfied, I began the process of drawing up the design in detail to create the template for cutting out the silver sheet. Some people do this by marking the design directly onto the silver, but I prefer to draw it out on my PC, especially if, as in this case, I need to make allowance for when the silver is formed.
I then print out the design, stick it to the silver (as below) and cut it out.
Yes, that’s blood! Mine.
What about this for a bead? It was made by Sabine of Little Castle Designs. One of those things that I saw and just had to have.
It’s about 3 cm across and 1 cm thick. What to do with it? Well, I’m already well into making the piece, so I know. But I’ll leave you to think about what it might be.
(oh, OK, I'm making a pendant….. of sorts)
The SilverKiss Blog
As if I don't rabbit on enough on the rest of this site's pages, here are even more ramblings and even a rant or two.
Feel free to add comments.