Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jet of the Day - Brooke Jewelry

I spend a lot of time making jewelry and my husband Rob is always interested in the new techniques I am learning  and finding out what all of my jewelry tools are for.  He is also interested in the metals and the stones I use and as he was paging through a metalsmithing book he came across a chainmaille pattern and expressed interest in making some chainmaille, so we took a class together. Since then we have taken some metalsmith classes together and this past summer we even started some lapidary classes. We are just a few classes in but we are already making cabochons and learning about different stones. 
Rob is all suited up for class, eye protection is a must and hearing protection is a good idea too, it gets loud with all the machinery going at once.
He has already moved on from the traditional cabochon shape and is making cross shaped beads.


I'm working on the last step for my lace agate cabochon, putting on a nice polish.


A close up of my finished cabochon.
Here you can see the "dop stick" and wax used to hold the stones while they are being worked on.
My current project is a free form banded agate that I think will look great as a pendant.
We joined the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society and that is where we are taking our cabochon classes. They have a nice facility and lots of different classes available. I even found out that they offer classes in silver fabrication and casting. Someday I'd like to get to the level where I can take a faceting class, but right now I'm going to focus on perfecting my cabs and getting through our box of stones that we inherited through a friend. 

The teachers and fellow students at the SDMG have been very helpful and we have added even more stones to our collection through their generosity.

We were given a wonderful collection of stones by a friend so we have lots of future projects awaiting us.
A dinosaur bone we are looking forward to working on, when we get better at this cabbing thing.

A Dendritic Jasper that will look nice in some jewelry.
Rob found a great book about stones: Collecting Rocks, Gems, and Minerals by Patti Polk that is helping us to identify the stones that we have. Rob also found a book called Rockhounding California by Gail A. Butler so we can try to find our own rocks and gems.

Here are a couple of links to some very informative posts with step by step information on making cabochons for you to take a look at http://www.inlandlapidary.com/user_area/howtocab.asp http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/oplc_cab.shtml 
Both very interesting in their own ways and the one from the lapidary club in Tucson sounds like it could be coming directly from the one here in San Diego:)


These are some examples of what I have done in the past with cabochons that I have purchased. I will have to show you what I make with the ones I've shared above when I get them set.

Horse Canyon Agate and sterling silver pendant necklace,

Lace Agate Sterling Silver and Pearl Necklace

Brown and Aqua Turquoise Cabochon Ring in  Sterling Silver (sold)

Thanks for reading! I'm always happy to answer questions.
xox, Brooke





14 comments :

designedbyval said...

Beautiful stones and what an adventure Brooke. My husband follows along with what I am doing too but he hasn't taken the plunge yet.

bMichelle said...

What a great team! It must be so fantastic and satisfying to create a piece of jewelry from the fist possible step, I envy you as my fiance is a CPA. Not a chance of him EVER cutting anything but his finger. Your pieces are beautiful and you are very talented. Thanks for the insight.

laurastamperdesigns said...

great pieces and interesting blog .... AND your studio is so neat and clean!

DG Jewelry Designs said...

Great post. Your jewelry pieces are just beautiful.

Bob J24-7 said...

Great to see that Brooke has her hubby involved! This is fun stuff for us guys too ... I have a flat lap, slab saw and spool polisher, and when I have time I like to make cabs too!

Visited Brooke's shop; its full of great jewelry! One of the pieces that caught my eye is this fabulous silver heart pendant; simple, elegant and great as a gift ...

Tracy said...

I think its fantastic that your husband gets involved with your work! That is awesome! I just LOVE the things you're doing here. I'd love to learn these techniques! Great work!

Donna's Artisan Designs said...

Hey Brooke,
I SO envy you!! I just started collecting rocks and tumbling but I'd absolutely love to take it to the next level and to learn metalworking as well...I showed hubby as he wandered past to try to shame,,,ahem ,,,encourage him into getting more involved!!!I am so happy for you that you are pursuing such a worthy art and I think even ESSENTIAL for a jewelry designer!!!

willowcreekjewelry said...

Loved your post! How exciting to be able to turn rough gems into works of wearable art...gorgeous artistry!

Michele said...

It's so nice to see that you and your hubby are a team and make such lovely jewelry together!!! That was very nice of your friend, I'm sure lovely jewelry will be made!!!

Jennifer said...

This looks like so much fun!!

Made By Tammy said...

I love this Post!
How Awesome that your Husband, Rob has joined your Team and caught the jewelry making bug. Your jewelry is Fantastic! Wondering if you fight over stones yet, LOL?

cooljewelrydesign said...

OK, let me try again.

Loving that your hub is sharing your passion -- that has GOT to mean a lot. Look forward to seeing pieces that you have collaborated on...have always been a huge fan of your work.

Generous friends, eh? :-)

Dashery Jewelry said...

So cool that you and hubby are doing lapidary stuff together! Beautiful finished jewelry too!

jemsbyjb said...

Beautiful jewelry and such a great team!