Taking Care – Again

by laurie jane kern on April 13, 2009

Yup, I did it again….

After my last post, I pulled out a rhodochrosite cab I made a few weeks ago.
Then, after doodling a few ideas for a shape, I started to work on a pendant.

I cut the 22g sheet fine, then refined the shape by filing a bit.

I made the bezel no problem.
Tested the stones fit – perfect!
I soldered the bezel to the sheet – placement a bit off on one side but I can file down the sheet on the other to make it a bit more even.

Then I get the dental floss, so I can test the fit of the stone.  I laid the floss, across the bezel and in went the stone,  a bit tight but it won’t require any major mods to the bezel or stone.

Then, when lifting the floss to get the stone out of the bezel….
POP and the cab went flying out of the bezel

… the cab, bounced once on the workbench
………and bounced onece on the floor
……………and (you can see where this is going…) it broke in two – at a 30 degree angle from the top surface of the cab to the back.

Take a  deep breath. This can be fixed, where is the epoxy?

BTW, this is the second “pink” stone that has broken on me.
NOTE TO SELF: NO MORE PINK AGATES

So while the epoxy cured, I moved on to the baile (it is bale, bail or baile)

I made this out of wire doing a few winds on the coil winder. Got it all soldered, turned it around and – it was off center.

So I had to remove the bale, clean it up and the back of the pendant and solder a second time. It is now in the vibra-or-torium and with luck I will set the stone tomorrow.

So after this weighing on my mind ALL DAY TODAY, I had another bonk on the head.

From a old jewelry book I picked up, and was reading during lunch,  I give you the following (modified) random quotes:

” Don’t rush!”; “Practice!, you might think you are ready to move to the next project, but with out practice your skills will be lacking”; “Check your work, make sure the solder has flowed where you expect”

So, it is back to basics and maybe I do try a few of the practice projects from that book!

laurie jane kern

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

judy hoch April 22, 2009 at 8:52 am

Laurie – Rhodochrosite is not an agate. It is a different material, much softer. There are many pink stones that are far easier to handle than rhodochrosite – rhodonite, thulite, pink common opal, pink grossular garnet – massive. And of course some true agates. Find something harder – or make your bezel a bit bigger. Judy

Michael Johnson April 14, 2009 at 5:02 am

It sounds like you are doing well. The setbacks will get less as you do this over and over. Rhodochrosite can be a bear. I break these fairly often while cabbing. It’s not my favorite stone, but it is one that people like. When I use it the work sells fast. So, I’m not ready to scratch it off of my list of stones yet. But, any stone can break. I carved my first fire agate a few weeks ago, getting perfect colorations of greens and reds, within microscopic layers. I got the final polish on it, handed it to my daughter to go wash it up, and she tripped over the dog, sending the cab smashing into the ground in pieces. Yep, it happens to us all :o)

But, believe me, you will look back on these trifles, and wonder why you had so much trouble. It’s actually great that you are blogging these days, so that you’ll have a record of sorts.

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