Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back to metalsmithing

Because I'm feeling so much better, I was able to go to my metalsmithing class today. I've missed the last two classes so I'm way, way behind. Fortunately my instructor is running classes on Tuesday nights that are quite empty so i can make up my lost time then.

She's introduced two new concepts: reverse bezel construction and mold-making. To make a mold, we just take the object we want to copy and basically pour a liquid rubber around it. The rubber cures and the mold can later be used to cast new objects. My instructor either making multiple copies of a small object for use in a bracelet or necklace or making an object to be cast in a more precious metal (like gold). I haven't decided which approach I want to take but I'll keep thinking about it.

I've started working on the reverse bezel. In a bezel setting, the bezel band (the one that encircles the stone) is soldered to the metal and the the stone and bezel band are both visible. In a reverse bezel setting, the bezel setting sits below the metal so that the stone pushes through the bottom instead of sitting on top. I'm going to put other circles around the reverse bezel setting to either create a flower- or grape- shaped pendant. I might add some other, smaller, gems to give extra sparkle to the finished piece.

I looked through her selection of stones and picked one that had some flash in the middle. It turns out that I picked a star ruby. It's very low quality for a ruby but it's a gorgeous stone nonetheless. The star shows through in the right light so it's hard to see but the flash is lovely on its own.

I do love this metalsmithing class. I can hardly wait to finish designing and finishing this piece.


Debbi said...

I'm glad you were able to get back to your class and are feeling better.
Sorry I haven't been around , but my first chemo knocked me for a loop. My Dr put me back on steroids at day 11 after...and I feel like a new person now..and am trying to catch up on my bloggie friends

Robin said...

So cool that you are feeling better :)

S uses something called Instant Mold to make additional bits for his miniatures. It's easy to use and reusable, if you are interested, follow the link:

Chantelle said...

I hope you're feeling better, Debbie!

Thanks for the link, Robin - that stuff looks super-cool!! I'm going to look into it to see if it'll do as good a job for me as it does for S. I love the idea of being able to make molds so easily.