Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

One Resolution… April 24, 2018

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Just a quick post to share one resolution from the last post a couple of weeks ago.  The other piece is still ‘under consideration’.  That one’s going to take more time to resolve its problems.

What started out as a bracelet focal has become a simple necklace.  I did add a pale blue Swarovski crystal dangle as an accent to the glass opal in the setting.  Sweet and simple.

 

glass opal necklace

 

I did want to share this piece that I started in last week’s class, but finished this afternoon.  About a year ago, I purchased this polished ammonite slice for it’s intriguing spiral design and gorgeous deep brown tones.  Had no idea what to do with it until now.

Deciding that a wire prong setting was the best approach, I began playing with 16 gauge wire and shaping to conform to the shape as best I could.  A bit tricky with the uneven shape for sure.  Persistence paid off.  This setting really went together easily and fast. Not bragging, just amazed and grateful. The last time I tried a prong setting, two prongs kept breaking off when I was setting the stone in.  Grrr…

Finished up this piece with a strand of polished faceted agates in a matching color palette. The sterling spiral clasp seemed an appropriate closure.

 

ammonite 1

 

ammonite 2

 

ammonite 3

 

ammonite 4

 

 

 

 

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Beachcomber… May 8, 2016

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Is there ever a time when something grabs hold of your attention and won’t let go?  I’ll be honest and say that this necklace owes everything to a design by the fabulous Lorelei Eurto. I wonder if it’s too much of a copy. Can’t say.  I can only be honest about what I know about its inspiration with you all.  And honest about how happy it made me to put it together. I hope you’ll visit her blog and see why I’m so gaga over it.

Her recent blog post showcased some new beads by Halcraft (available at Michaels) that just smacked me between the eyes…looked like bleached wood ‘potato chips’. I could barely finish breakfast, before running to my nearest Michaels and buying the one strand they had left. They have three more on order and I’ll be calling on Wednesday to see if they have arrived. Promise I’ll leave some for you all.

So here it is…after that confession and all…

 

Beachcomber 4

 

Besides those cool bleached wood chips, there some shiny agates…just like the ones you’d pick up on the beach and put in your pocket… and a gorgeous lamp work bead by Ikuyo Yamanaka. You can see more of her impressive work here.

This one seemed perfect as it looks like a tiny little tide pool for my beachcomber necklace.

 

Beachcomber 3

 

 

Beachcomber 2

 

 

 

Creating with Cabochons Challenge REVEAL ! September 17, 2013

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The multi-talented Sally Russick, of The Studio Sublime,

threw down the gauntlet about 6 weeks ago.

 Anyone care to join her in designing jewelry with those sometimes

tricky ‘hole-less’ wonders known as cabochons??

Having some recent, but limited, experience with bezel setting a couple of these stones,

I thought I would love to try some more techniques.

First realization was that there is a huge variety of cab materials…stones, of  course.

 But also metal, poly clay, glass, shell, resin, plastic…you get the idea.

If the piece doesn’t have holes and you can figure out a way

to wrangle it into your jewelry design, then it must be a cabochon.

Next ‘aha’ was all the ways one could ‘attach’ the cab to the design.

There’s glue, wire wrap, beaded bezel, metal bezels,

and tab or prong setting.  And maybe more.

 I decided to try out a few of these, starting with good old hypo cement glue.

First up is a glass pebble cab I made with a piece of scrapbooking paper…

some kind of old postcard stamp design.

I call him “Artie” for his art deco look.

Glued the cab to a filigree component, then glued a ring of seed beads to add some pizzazz.

stamp cabachon

Leaping Man

seed bead cab 2

Next, in keeping with the glue theme, I attached a stone cab

to the center of a brass filigree butterfly and gently folded the wings over to keep it safe.

I was a bit surprised to find that it looked like a scarab,

but the back of the piece gives a hint as to its origins.

cabchon 1

cab 2

cab 3

butterfly cab 2

My final technique was to work with a piece of amber beach glass

that I’d picked up at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA one summer.

Always intended to try my hand at drilling a hole, but never did.

For this cab setting, I textured a piece of brass and made holes with metal punch pliers.

Using 20 gauge gold wire, I cross wrapped the glass to the brass plate.

Wasn’t sure how to finish off the back, but I think this simple, tucked-in twist works.

crossed wires 2

 

crossed wires

beach glass 1

A side note:  I did try a prong setting with this little copper piece I had,

but there are too many tool marks from my attempts

to wrestle it into place for this to be used.

prong cab

prong cab 2

You may have noticed that seed beading a bezel was not one I attempted.

I tell myself that I just don’t have the patience.

If you are interested in this technique that produces a gorgeous setting for cabs however,

Sally posted a very thorough tutorial on her blog.

And if you are one who either never thought about using cabs in your jewelry work,

or wanted to and didn’t know how to go about it…

I do hope that my few explorations makes you think, “Hey, I could do that!”

I hope you’ll enjoy the many other designers that are participating

in this Creating with Cabochons blog hop. Please go to Sally’s blog for the links.