Friday, April 22, 2005

TGIF!

It's Friday, yay!!! I like Fridays because that means I have class in the morning (for another few weeks), and a few hours of work which usually means farting around for a while...

In class, I'm working on a hexigon shaped pave setting with 19 stones in it. It's going well...I just need to pick around all of the beads, which is a bit of a pain...then bright cut the edge of the hexigon and round off the beads.

Hexagon pave setting (in progress) Posted by Hello


Everyone in class keeps on asking me if I'm going to publish my notes...hmm...wonder if I could make any money off of it...?

Funny thing that happened...Ricky lost some diamonds in class. Well, he made everyone aware that he had a paper bag sitting on his bench, and now it's gone. The paper bag contained a 4 carat diamond, as well as 3 carats of melee (small diamonds), for about 7 carats of diamonds and a platinum ring as well...the whole class got up, looked around, thought..no one's been in here...hmmm...we're all worried, scrounging around, digging in trash..then Rick walks over to Virginia's bench, and it's there. Poor Virginia, she proclaimed..."I didn't do it!" "I swear I didn't take it!!" What probably happend was that Rick walked over to the area around Virginia's desk, got lost in thought/was talking to someone/was looking for something in the supply cabinet behind Virginia's desk, and set it down on her desk. When he found it, the whole class erupted in laughter. Rick was a bit embarrassed after that.

At work, my box is empty. I'm doing "busy work" - earrings for Charles' wife. Pretty boring stuff. So I brainstormed with Aaron and Sarah on settings I could do for stock jobs (stuff to put in the cases). Aaron says that I'm good enough to do em. So I approached Charles with the idea...so next week, I'll probably be doing some castings and start some bead and bright settings. :)

I finally took some pictures of my past settings from class. All projects are done in "Dick's Gold", some sort of brass alloy. And the stones are all calibrated Cubic Zirconias. My very first project was learning how to draw beads from the metal around the stones. It was 3 stones placed far apart from each other. That one is ugly, so no need to post it.

My second project was doing bead and bright cut on a bar with 9 stones side by side. Between each stone was 2 common/shared beads. And each stone had 4 individual beads. My beads are far from being symmetric, different sizes and such. But hey, pretty good for a first!! When I was done with it, Stanley gave me a milgrain tool to milgrain the edges of the bar.

Bar bead and bright setting with milgrained edges Posted by Hello

My third project was cutdown pave on a round setting with 16 stones. I was told that this was one of the more difficult type of settings, since there is so much cutting involved. I think this one turned out pretty damn good..especially yes, for another first try!

Cutdown pave Posted by Hello

Cutdown pave - side details Posted by Hello

So now you may be wondering what the hell am I talking about? Well, bead and bright setting and pave settings are labor intensive ways of setting small stones next to each other. Picture a flat piece of metal with nothing on it. Now throw some stones in the mix..the stones have to be set side by side. In class, I didn't have to do any layout work (I've done it at work, so I can do that as well) - layout of the stones that is. With these settings from class, I had to drill the holes bigger, and use a bur (round cutting tool) to cut into the metal by hand. I burred until the stones were seated in the holes so that the girdle (outer edge) of the stone was below the surface of the metal. Once all stones were seated, I (generally) start to draw beads. I use a graver - a sharp hand tool - to scrape metal from near the stone, so that a little bit of metal is sticking up beside the stone. Depending on the setting, there may be different intermediary steps. For example, with the cutdown pave above, I had to cut away (shave metal with a graver) quite a bit, taking multiple steps, to get the pattern that runs down the edge of the circle. Next, I have to "bright cut" around the edges using a graver that is polished and flat on one side. It neatens the piece up. Something that I need a lot of work on! And the last step is to round off the beads (little pieces of metal shaving sticking up beside the stone) with a beading tool. Still sounds like Greek, huh?

Well, I'm hoping that with enough practice, I'll get better...here are some photos of pieces from our shop that Aaron has set...he's pretty damn good!

Kunzite and diamond pearl enhancer. Diamonds are all bead and bright set. Posted by Hello

Blue and yellow sapphire and diamond ring in platinum. Yellow sapphires and diamonds are bead and bright set. Posted by Hello

Blue and yellow sapphire and diamond pendant in 14k white gold. Yellow sapphires are bead and bright set. Posted by Hello

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