gaffer glass cane
I bought a small sampling of Gaffer opaque glass last week. I’ve never tried their glass before. For those who don’t know, it’s 96 COE from New Zealand. They have so many intense pinks and purples, including their own take on Zimmerman Purple Rose. I got some pinks, purples, a couple of greens and blues and the two chalcedonies. I think I’ll give those a melt this evening.
For some reason, I’ve been dreaming about Donna Karan’s Delicious NIGHT perfume. I was never too enthralled with her other Delicious fragrances but her Black Cashmere impressed me, so I’ve been meaning to try Night. I have only an inkling about what to expect, and after reading the reviews I decided to hunt some down on ebay. According to the reviews, it’s very different from the others in the Delicious line and sounds like it’s right up my alley. If I end up disappointed it won’t be a big deal because I didn’t spend much on it. Of course it’s discontinued, so I’m sure to love it and not be able to get more. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Do any of you like/dislike this fragrance?
Mom and I found this interesting ring at a dinky antique mall the other day. It was only $20 so I couldn’t pass it up. It alludes to a princess’ly engagement ring, but more unusual. The stone appears to be carved and is likely a citrine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pentagon shaped stone before.
As you’ve probably guessed, there were no beads this week. Instead, I worked on rings. I’ve decided I enjoy making rings much more than pendants – although that doesn’t mean I won’t make pendants any more. I made surprising progress over just a few days. I’ve definitely picked up some speed with practice. I enjoyed making these so much that I had to make myself stop and get the glass back out.
z-beads sterling rings, week of sept 9th
I made the yellow one for mom for her birthday. It’s a large faceted lemon quartz. This stone is really bulky and the fact that it has a slightly concave underside didn’t help. So I tried something different. Instead of using sterling for the bezel like I normally do, I tried 24g fine silver for the first time. The stone setting went much more smoothly and I got a nice tight setting. (Although in the photo I see a couple of spots that need a slight cosmetic tightening up.)
I also tried my hand at engraving. Meh, it didn’t go as well as the stone setting… But I enjoyed the experience of breaking a few rules – setting such a multifaceted stone, upside down no less, and in what some would consider an improper setting for this particular stone. But it’s still as sparkly as a glitter bomb, and that’s the whole point.
The other two I made for my stylist. The drop is prehnite but the other one is some sort of agate and I’m not sure what they’re calling it, if anything special. I’m calling it “ice storm on a raging river of lava.” I asked the lady I bought it from what they were and she shrugged and said “from China” with a wry smile. Well, duh Christy, isn’t dang near every bead these days. (Christy Ma is one of my favorites at the bead shows. She always has something interesting and she remembers me every time. If mom isn’t with me, which is unusual, she asks about her.)
With these three rings I hoped to practice efficiency by keeping it simple. I worked on all the bezels at once, then soldering the bezels to the backplates all at once, etc. Then I decided to try keeping the sanding, filing and polishing very simple as well by limiting myself to emery paper exclusively. Normally I use wet/dry and little 3M sponges. I also made sure to use Tripoli and red rouge (both on felt wheels) and I figured out that Tripoli removes small superficial scratches. Then the red rouge polished it up to a mirror, which I then sullied with the liver of sulphur and satin finish. But I found that such a smooth surface is a good start for the patina/satin finish, rather than just the fine sandpaper and nothing else.
I used heavier gauge fine silver on the bezel (above) as well. I’m pleased at how well this setting turned out – it was my first teardrop shaped setting. And this thing is very high and chunky, nice and heavy on the finger.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to… I had better get on the glass! I’ll be re-working the Random Acts of Turquoise set on Etsy, so if you like it as-is and have been meaning to get it, you’d better do it quick.
Thanks for checking in!