Saturday, 2 February 2013

A Sable Silver'd: A Ship Shape Stone Setting

Hello all :)

The sun is shining here in Cambridge and I'm in particularly high spirits. The weekend started with myself and Mr S baking an amazing and glorious chocolate creation (see here!) courtesy of the one and only Nigel Slater. I tweeted about this and to my great excitement got a reply from Mr Slater himself :)

Following this initial success I have just spent an immensely pleasurable hour on the phone to a very dear friend who is getting married in a couple of months, and for whom I have just offered some wedding related silversmithing services. Whether or not they are taken up, this has given me a warm glow and delicious little moment of excitement!

As I'm on a roll I thought it was about time to get back on to actual honest to goodness jewellery blogging! We're on a journey back in time and taking a peek at my very first ever attempt at stone setting.

Being a glutton for punishment I chose to ignore kindly advice suggesting that the simplest way to start might be a round cabochon (what a fool I was!) and headed straight into the more tricky waters of a tear drop shaped stone. You might have gathered by now that I am not the speediest jeweller out there. I'm not holding back on sharing new things out of shyness, I'm a perfectionist, I take my time and make sure that what I'm doing with my expensive metals works out right. This was no exception!

I decided to go for shapes that I found soft, tactile and pleasing, choosing a chunky round wire to make the band. The stone would be elevated and rounded and something about the setting makes me think - ship shape! When I was making the bezel there was a moment when it looked very much like a tiny silver avocado which was quite amusing. Might have to revisit that idea someday.
I can't pretend that I am a natural to stone setting. It's rather a technical skill and I'm not disposed to calling myself a technical person.

Nonetheless, I got there in the end and am really rather pleased with how it turned out. As stone setting is a great way to add colour to metal work and there are some very beautiful gems out there I have and will persevere!

Signing off so that I can continue basking in the loveliness - seeing a friend for afternoon tea and then tomorrow... I'm doing an enamelling workshop at London Jewellery School!!! Very excited. Will of course be reporting back with a hammer and pickle review with the full low down. More opportunities for infusing some colour into my work. Woop!

What are you guys up to this weekend? Any workshops? Any projects? Hope the sun is shining!


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