Monday, January 28, 2013
Lanhua Pendant - Making of | Go to post ➜
I try my best to blog about what I make BEFORE posting them on DA, it helps to clear my mind. And to distract me from the fact that I really should be working on the slowly growing pile of schoolwork that's being neglected. Anyway, this is the latest piece made, Lanhua:
Somehow, things always get complicated when I try to plan. The original frame didn't work out so I changed it, and halfway through I decided to use a teardrop stone instead. (More painful bezel setting practice, huehue. It's such a failure.) I think I might buy bezel wire soon. Rolling it out from round wire, it's hard to get straight and even and thin bezels.
This piece was made to learn how to do the swirl designs, my mother calls them 'tadpole ends'. And it was inspired by lanterns. Chinese New Year is coming, there are lots and lots of lovely lanterns all over the place with cute little tassels below ♥ But in my dorm lobby there are giant pineapples instead OTL. Anyway. I get so excited looking at the decorations, putting up lanterns and peonies in my house ♥ And then I found a string of rutilated quartz I bought a long time ago, the black slashes against white stone remind me of calligraphy and ink paintings. (I wanted to use a rutilated/dendritic quartz or carnelian for the focal stone, but I don't have either so it's back to clearing the labradorite stash.) I think it would have looked nice with a red stone, red is a lucky colour for this time of the year~
And also, I'm trying to make neater open back bezels and frames-
I think I did quite well on this :) Doesn't hurt that the stone has lovely flash behind! I'm really happy with the swirls and the tassel, I think they look really pretty, so I want to make more pieces like this. If only the darn chains weren't so hard to photograph! And, wondering about how it would look in silver -
Blue stones really do look much brighter in silver. Copper is warm and lovely, but silver is so ethereal ♥. (The problem is, I don't want to indulge in making silver things unless I'm going to to sell them because I spend too much money. But I don't want to sell them because they are too precious. But I want to buy silver.) I think probably I will hoard them for a little while yet, before opening shop.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Laika pendant - making of | Go to post ➜
Here are some process shots of the pendant I made this weekend, Laika -
The making-of went surprisingly easy, I had no sketch or plan, just trying to learn new things with each new piece I make. So this piece was made to learn how to do the flattened curved metal pieces at the side. (Stupidly enough, it first occurred to me to cut them out of sheet, which was a huge waste of time.) And also, to work on my bezel setting skills. I am bad at it, it is hard to make the rims for non-circular stones, and they are always somehow a little loose after setting.
I've actually been picking out stones from my collection which aren't the most impressive, because I feel like I'm still practising and not very good yet. The one used in this piece was a slightly lopsided oval, chipped on one end - both flaws that can be hidden with a bezel. Labradorites with this colour flash somehow don't have one "stunning" angle where the flash is strong, instead it has little clouds of colour all over the stone from every angle, and is infuriatingly hard to photograph. In bright natural light, it looks almost translucent dark grey and there is very little colour.. but indoors at my workbench (as you can see in the pics above) it has an almost black colour with flashes of bright blue. A mysterious look and lovely colour, I've been looking all over for smaller accent stones that match this brilliant blue and finally found some pretty cat's eye stones that came close enough :)
The one thing I'm annoyed by now that it's done is the fact that the cat's eye on the piece itself has a diagonal flash, while the ones on the endpiece both have a horizontal flash. I don't even know why I'm so annoyed. Maybe because I really like symmetry and so having just a small anomaly like that frustrates me. Should have checked the stone instead of just picking the first one off the strand! =/ That, and it's also diagonal in the opposite direction of the inclusions in the main stone. OTL
(It's really obvious, I can't un-see it after noticing.)
But I'm still happy with how it turned out, and finally got some copper chain so I could finish the whole necklace, clasp and all. Although making the endpiece isn't half as fun as making the pendant, but when the whole thing is complete it does look much lovelier.. Here's another clasp I made for the piece in the previous post:
With the little matching stone at the end it really seems more complete :)
Monday, January 21, 2013
Wire Wrapped Pendants + Labradorite | Go to post ➜
School has started and I'm really busy, kind of sorting things out but wanting to go home and make things all the time - it's very ironic that during the holidays I waste my life rotting in front of the computer, and only when I actually have work to do does the jewelry-making bug bite. Ahh well. Made this one for my sister -
(I don't think it's so nice but she likes it.) And I made several terrible mistakes with this, decided to solder the frame after setting the stones and wasn't careful, so the smoky quartz briolette cracked and went clear, and the labradorite probably got more brittle because when I dropped it later it chipped. I get really angsty whenever a stone breaks, especially when it's a labradorite like this lovely one -
And I hadn't even started working/designing yet, it just arrived in the mail yesterday and I was just polishing the oil off it and it came apart in my fingers OTL Probably the internal fracture was already at breaking point. Because they have so much individuality you can't just find another one to replace it - and I'm so attached to the bright blue flash of this one, I'll probably try and design something asymmetrical just for it. It is a sad fact that I design many many things and never get round to making them, though. This is one of the few that was actually completed -
I really, really love this stone ♥ It's even more lovely in real life, with a darker gold flash and some tiny bits of bright blue and green near the cloudlike inclusion on the left. And here are some progress shots -
It was made more with soldering practise in mind, so the base frames are more complex - maybe ~20 solder joins, all done with the same solder (unlike silver, copper solder only comes in one melting temp.) The labradorite was set in an open backed bezel, which was the simultaneous source of much pride and frustration - these stones usually have amazing flash across the flat surface of the cabochon back, and this one in particular had a gold-green-blue flash ♥ So the open-back design allows you to see the stone from behind -
One day I will design something meant to show the flat side of the cabochon instead of always hiding it behind. And I'm sorry this post has been 90% rambling about labradorite, but while we're on the subject, the new batch I ordered arrived yesterday and just looking at them makes me to happy ♥
Hopefully I have time to make more things (instead of just doodling designs in class all the time and throwing them away) :D
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Merry Christmas + Happy New Year! | Go to post ➜
I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday! :D I have been so so busy, catching up on the backlog of commissions and stuff from the school term (and school starts again in a couple of weeks, gosh.)
The loveliest thing so far this holidays was actually going to the aquarium (S.E.A Aquarium in Sentosa) although I live here and it's a terribly touristy place but oh, the aquarium was so utterly amazing, I was in there for hours mesmerized by the animals. Manta rays + jellyfish ♥ Planning to visit again this month ^_^
I hope 2013 brings everyone much love and happiness! ♥
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Stickers! | Fine Silver + Topaz Pendat (Wirework + Metalsmithi... | Hello♥ So school swept me off my feet more thorou... | Pendants~ | Lanhua Pendant - Making of | Laika pendant - making of | Wire Wrapped Pendants + Labradorite | Merry Christmas + Happy New Year! | Hello, Some shots of simple watercolour + typewri... | Updates! |
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