Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ever since I learned how to solder, I've fallen in love in setting cabochons. Rings, pendants, earrings...I just love making them.

As you probably can guess I can buy them faster than I can set them. Therefore, this has resulted in me buying way too many of them. Right now I have a small candy dish full of them.

They're not an inexpensive habit. I probably have several hundred dollars worth. This doesn't quite rival the amount of sterling sheet and wire that I have -which definitely amounts to more than a thousand or so dollars of metal.

(Please note: my husband will probably be reading this, so the figures I quote may be ever so slightly conservative.)

My cabochon stash comes from various sources: I know someone who's cut stones for a hobby for many years... I've discovered several lapidary shops in my local area ... a dealer from Russia frequents a local gem show with some unusual finds...and I scour Etsy for cool stones and great deals.

One day while browsing Etsy I found an unusual stone. It was monochromatic and the pattern was odd. Someone else might have not taken a second look..... but I like odd. And the more I looked at it, the more I liked it.

The problem with buying online, is that what you get is often a surprise in one way or another. Sometimes the size isn't really what you imagined. Sometimes the colors aren't what were pictured in the photo. Sometimes, the item is a true disappointment. But, sometimes, the surprise is amazingly pleasant.

When I opened my package from Etsy, I looked at the cabochon and went "huh".

It wasn't a bad "huh".

It was a just a surprised "huh".

The cabochon was......interesting. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it and the more I saw in it.

It took me a while, but I suddenly realized that this stone reminded me of a shard of old bone china with a vintage pattern of roses. And then I knew how I would have to set it. The setting would have to remind one of an old bouquet.

This was beyond what I had tried before, but I was more than willing to try something new. Surprisingly, the design came quickly. It was like the flowers inside the cabochon really wanted to be arranged!
And this is what I created. I call it, Still Life With Roses.

And many, many thanks to Lost Sierra, for his skills in pulling out a wonderful piece of art from a rock (can you believe it!) and allowing me the opportunity to create.

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  1. Baroness Bijoutery said...
    I love that stone, it is something I would have bought but then I do like unusual pieces. What you did with the stone is STUNNING...
    Contrariwise said...
    Thanks. I'm slowly trying to incorporate some new techniques that I've learned by trial and error over the past year. (Mostly error.)

    For example, when I first started soldering, I couldn't figure out how to attach flat silver pieces on top of silver sheet. Took me a while.

    But I filled up my silver scrap bin trying!
    Thyme2dream said...
    wow, beautiful! I wish I had time/space to play with fire-I need to expand my studio!!:)
    Jen said...
    What a spectacular piece you created! My jewelry making is pretty much limited to the simple stuff, I do much better with a pencil and paper than metal and stones :o)
    Swapna said...
    Lovely... you just made a beautiful stone more spectacular...!!!
    Whimsicalstars said...
    Beautiful stone and love your design!
    janaes jewels said...
    Oh...I am in such awe. Your cab stone and setting are just gorgeous! I am so glad that you found me - so that I could find you and see your craft.

    I think we have much in common - but I wish you lived next door!
    Contrariwise said...
    Thanks for your kind words. Like I said in my post, I'm really trying to branch out and experiment a bit. One of the things that I'm doing more of is drawing out the designs first. Hopefully I'll have less projects make it to the scrap bin that way ;-)

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