Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taking shape

My mission for this weekend was to make two bezel settings, one for a round blue topaz which will go on a pendant and one for a square amethyst to go on a ring.

I started with the 'easy' round one, first bending up the bezel wire to the approximate diameter of the stone.

Once cut to the approximate size and shape I used my bezel mandrel to get a nice round form.

The bezel was not quite snug enough (you can see a gap at the left of the photo below), so I used my saw to carefully shave off 1-2mm at the join.

Ready to solder I used flambe (a mix of borax, boracic and methylated spirits) which gives the bezel the crusty white appearance and then some flux at the join. These will help keep away fire scale meaning less filing later.

Once soldered and into the pickel I began the square setting. To get nice crisp corners it is necessary to score the inner corner. This is done by first creating a shallow cut with the saw, then using a square needle file to make a 45 degree channel.

All bent into shape and soldered the square bezel was ready to go into the pickel for cleaning.

Back to the round bezel it was time to make the inner sleeve which the stone will sit on. The process is pretty much as per the outer sleeve, once it fit snugly I soldered it in.

The square bezel now clean from being pickeled can now have a light file.

At the moment it is a little tight for the stone to 'drop in', but I will use a burr later to help it in.

The square bezel is going onto a knife edged ring which I made earlier. I filed a groove so the bezel could drop down onto the ring for soldering.

Happy with todays progress, and developing a headache, it was time to call it a day. With any luck I may be able to complete both pieces, we'll see.....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

They're back....

Back in June I deactivated Etsy listings for a number of one-of-a-kind items so that I could put them in my cube at in.cube8r. Today I vacated my cube and picked up what was left over.

Some of these items will be destined to go on display in a new store in Brunswick in October (watch this space). So if there is anything that you are really in love with I suggest you grab it now while you can ;)

Some that have returned and are now available on etsy:

black seed pod earrings

trilogy pendant

gooseberry pendant

art deco opal ring

Friday, September 11, 2009

Four seasons in one day...

Perhaps the very first 'wearable' piece of jewellery I made when I was studying is my "Winter Moon" pendant.

The winter moon pendant was hand carved in wax and cast using the lost wax method. Later in 2006 I made a matching ring which was sold at a fund raising auction for our graduate exhibition. My friend Tamara was noticed admiring the ring at the South Melbourne Market, and the wearer told her the story of how she bought it at auction and her name means tree. Tam laughed and said "my friend Erika made it!".

I have kept the winter moon pendant and always receive compliments when I wear it. Earlier this year I decided to build upon this concept making a range of seasonal jewelery based on winter moon.

First cabs off the rank are another winter moon pendant, and spring blossom ring featuring a rubellite blossom. I have purchased a number of tiny leaf shaped garnets for autumn leaves and leaf shaped sapphires for summer leaves. I also have a nice collection of tiny round tourmaline 'blossoms' for a spring pendant.

Sadly I no longer have access to casting equipment, so these will have to be professionally cast. I am hoping to have the first two done in the coming months.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I have never much enjoyed going to the gym, however earlier this year our local gym was offering special when you enrolled a child in swim school. I had a 'trainer' who wrote up a program and I was supposed to go three times a week.

Whilst in theory 3 times a week is possible, I found it difficult to co-ordinate with work, home/toddler, hubbies gym nights etc. Very quickly I settled into the routine of going to Iyengar Yoga once a week.

As much as I LOVE yoga and the way I feel when I regularly attend, it becomes very easy to make excuses and negotaite with yourself. On a Wednesday night after work it would be I'm a bit tired, I'll go on Sunday instead. Of course on Sunday the excuse is I'm too busy, it's right in the middle of the day, I'll just go on Wednesday. Then of course with the morning sickness it became I'll go once I get to the second trimester, I'll feel better and have more energy then.

Finally today I went back to yoga (after checking with my Ob first that it was OK). There are certain poses that I cannot do, or have to do differently from the rest of the class. But the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment was wonderful. I have finally found my motivation!

And with that motivation still fresh I came home and finished the earrings I have been working on, the Bubbles Earrings

Now I just have to hang onto the motivation tight! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wishlist Wednesday

Today a wish has come true. Hubby has been wanting to upgrade his 15 year old car and has decided to do a switch where he will take my car and I will get the new one...

He has ordered my new wheels this morning!

No more struggling to get our son into his car seat in the back of hubbies 2 door coupe every morning, a task that will only get trickier as my belly gets bigger.