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 htt p://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.