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Coming Up With A Design...How I Get There

What a mess!

After a one month hiatus from the studio I do not think soldering was the best thing to start with but nonetheless this is what I did.

Native American legend says that this stone fell from the sky.
It also says that if there is a crack in the stone then the stone took the blow for the owner.
The history behind this stone is unknown but what a blow it must have taken for its owner because that is a HUGE crack!

My mission this month is to make a brooch using this beautiful Arizona Turquoise.

 And just how big is it?
1.75"L x 1"W x 5/16"D to be exact.
The depth varies around the stone which means a Custom Bezel has to be made.

After sketching up many designs for this stone (none of which was chosen), and coming to a paralyzing part in the creativity process, I decided to go ahead and just make the bezel.  

I start off with some fine silver, cut the correct height, length, anneal it, roll it down (rolling mill), and then repeat, repeat, repeat until I reach the thinness wanted.

I then came up with this design.

The design just came to me after making the bezel.  How did I get here?
I do not really know.
It is a struggle for me that is for sure!
Arizona turquoise and Arizona chrysocolla
The bezel shown above did not make it and neither did the second one.  I could not for the life of me get the solder to flow.  I not only had a melt down of metal but also of spirit!
I did the only normal thing anyone would do.

 I stepped away from the bench and had a glass of wine.

Day 2

Let us try this again!
After some thinking and reading I came up with the following.

1.  My torch is not at its highest power.  I want this little torch to "hiss" at me.

2.  Use Primps flux instead of Handy flux
(I heard it was better at holding off the fire scale from forming on copper better then any other flux out there.)

3.  Cut the intended shape for the back plate.
(I normally do not do this first.  I will solder the bezel down to the back plate and then cut out the intended shape but this back plate was just too big and sucking the heat away from the bezel.)


4.  Make sure my metal is clean!

This is no time to be lazy people.

Do you see it?!  1/2 has been soldered down!!!
So excited at this point but I had to calm down before I had another melt down.  
Into the pickle pot it goes.
Solder and repeat.

It took me three times to get this whole bezel soldered and
patience was rewarded.
Time to do the dance of joy!

And this has been my week.  
Three days of sawing, filing, rolling, soldering, melting, throwing stuff, and crying.

Today I get to go out with a client to pick out some stones for a custom job.  I used to dread doing custom work but not so much now.  
I actually LOVE it!  Especially if I get to have an excuse to go buy some gem stones.

Have a great Thursday everyone!  


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