Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Silversmithing class

I just took my first jewelry class the other week. It was a silversmithing course to make a silver pendant with a stone.

It was SO MUCH FUN! Lookie at what I made!

I bezel-set the stone, using a propane torch to solder it to the sterling back, which I cut freehand, using a pair of scissors.

The teacher is a former silversmithing teacher at a local university who knows a great deal about how to use inexpensive techniques. He told us stories of using an coffee can, some foil and an old skillet to do some fancy work. He's quite a character, let me tell you.

I had brought a stone that I wanted to set as a pendant, but the instructor didn't think it would be the best for the project - the back of it wasn't flat. But he had brought a bunch of stones that he cut and polished himself for us to pick from. So I went through his pile and finally settled this red one that you see above.

I asked him what kind of stone it was.

He looked at the stone. Then he looked at me. The he gave out a long drawn out sigh and coughed a few time.

After he got everyone's attention it was time for a story.

It seems that he had been out in Arizona a while ago, looking for fossils to bring back as specimans for his classroom.

Well, not fossils, exactly. Coprolites.

One of his old friends had a dinosaur on his property that he had been digging out for quite a while. As the story goes, it was a raptor, and whatever had killed it, must have scared it sh%tless because there was a big pile of dinosaur poo at the base of his tale.

Well he dug up this prize speciman and displayed it in his classroom for a number of years. He also cut and polished chunks of it.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my pendant is fosilized dinosaur crap.

Nice color, isn't it.

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  1. High Desert Diva said...
    Ha! That is too funny! I was thinking jasper...
    Fuzzy Izmit said...
    Dude... I want dino crap jewelry! What a conversation piece!
    Contrariwise said...
    I'm afraid this piece WON'T be for sale. As a conversation piece, it's priceless.
    Unknown said...
    thats a great story! I love the jewelry that you made. I wish there were classes like that around here I would really love to learn how to solder and lapidary works.
    Devon said...
    i've been looking all over for jewelry classes around my neck of the woods... no luck! you make really nice jewelry! pretty funny about the dino-pooh... :)
    Anonymous said...
    That is the prettiest pile of crap I have ever seen - you could definitely sell that if you wanted to (and wouldn't it be a hoot to know you can make money off of poo - definitely a boost to your salesmanship ego). I have also been looking for jewelry classes in my neck of the boondocks for some time. I think I found some last night - but the prices are exhorbitant! Can you tell us the name of the guy you studied with? I'd like to know if I ever get an opportunity to take his class.
    Contrariwise said...

    I don't want to list the instructor's contact info on blogger. But if you send me an email either through blogger or Etsy, I'll send you some info.

    The 3 1/2 hour class was only $55 and it included everything! Considering the amount of silver used in the pendant, it was an amazing bargain. And fun!
    K and N Jewelry said...
    Ya, I'm 13 and I'm doing a 5 day silversmithing course starting on Monday. I can't wait!
    check my site


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