I looked through my stone collection (I have lots, all sorted by colour) and picked out two pairs of rhodochrosite stones to combine into earrings. One pair is a 6mm diameter round cabochons in a transparent medium and the other is a pair of 20mm x 8mm ovals in the more usual pink and white banded pattern. I didn't take any pictures do you'll have to wait to see what they look like.
Anyways, I spent the bulk of my time making bezels for these four stones. A bezel is a strip of metal that wraps around the stone; to set the stone, the top edge of the metal is compressed against the stone. This is a very secure setting.
I could tell it had been a long time since I'd been at the studio because it took me a long, long time - 2 hours! - to calculate how long you make each bezel. It should have taken 30 minutes... 45 minutes tops. For round stones, all I do is calculate how long the strip should be by calculating the circumference of the stone and bezel. The way to figure it out for non-round stones is to cut a narrow strip of masking tape, wrap it carefully around the bottom of the stone, and use that as the base length. I needed to add enough metal to account for the thickness of the bezel strip and this is where I ran into problems.
Typically I pretend the circumference comes from a round stone, then figure out the diameter for this pretend round stone, and then recalculate the circumference by adding the bezel thickness to theatdiameter. It's not an exact method but it works pretty well. For whatever reason, instead of working with circumference I was working with area... Which did not give me the results I expected. Worse, it took me a while to figure out what was going on. Oops!
In the end I got my bezels cut and soldered closed. I'd hoped to do more in the hours I was there but at least I got something done.
Now I'm very tired. All this thinking has left me sleepy.