As many of you know, I've been cutting my own stones for about a year and a half. I have been just pitiful about posting to my blog. But, I haven't completely forgotten about it. I have much to share. There's a shot of my Diamond Pacific Pixie, fresh out of the box back in January. And Nigel wants in on the action, too. Stone cutting has been in full swing for many months now in my new space, and everything is covered with grime. The jeweler's benches are in place. The last piece of the puzzle is the installation of ventilation, and fuel for the torches! Stay tuned....
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wrap 26 gauge wire around the three support wires. The three wires need to stay flat and parallel. You can use blue painter's tape on either side of where you intend to wrap to hold the wires in place. Trim off the ends ensuring that they are both on the same side of the main support wires. Tap down the ends with your soft jaw pliers.
Now you may begin to form the wires around the cabochon or focal bead. This is an initial general shaping.
Then repeat on the other side of the same wire
The center wire will follow the perimeter of the stone and be the contact point for where the front and back wires will be joined together, holding in the stone.
Then it is time to check and adjust the fit again.
Then bend wires up toward what will be the top of the stone.
Take the time to carefully straighten each wire using the soft jaw pliers. It is worth taking the time to fix the problem while you have the chance to do it without the stone in.
At this point, it's not too late. Unwrap the damaged wire and replace it with new. Take the time. Have standards.
Then, find something like a dowel or an ink pen to for the wires evenly around. I had a dop stick laying on my table, so that's what I used.
Twist the wire, and then trim to about a quarter inch.
Note, if you twist it too tight, the wire will snap. If this happens, the tie is compromised and must be removed and replaced.
I decided to add some beads to bring out the magenta wire. Beads are a great way to hide an untidy mess, should that occur.
This design element instantly balances the mismatched side binds.
Wire through with no damage, so I am free to trim the remaining wire.
I curl the trimmed ends so there are now edges or ends sticking out to snag on clothing.
I wrote this so that the folks who really need lots of pictures and explanation will have the help they need. This is not intended to teach this design. It was intended to teach the concept and help deal with problems that come up as we make things. I hope this will help many.