"Here is the life of a “Practice Pieces” that I started during the week of March 15th. So many ideas, never enough time! My silver working mentor taught us that it is best to have several silver projects in the works - so, how lucky to have a flurry of orders at the same time I was taking progress photos, right?!
On my most recent trip to Arizona I saw some asymmetrical contemporary Southwest designs that appealed to me. They inspired a few sketches on a note pad and, once I returned home, I transferred them to the journal where design ideas (and good mushroom hunting spots) are kept! For the focal of the design I chose a Mexican Cantera opal in matrix, from my Tucson gem show kaboodle, and a tiny fire opal as an accent. Here is some of what crossed my bench that week...
Day 1: To start with, I lay out the stones and silver elements according to my design. Then it's time to light up (the torch, that is) and start soldering...
Editors Note: Love, Love, Love the beads on your eyewear, Denise!
Day 2: Sure enough, a couple of ring orders have come in. Perfect, I can have something in the pickle while I’m cutting or soldering the next piece! The silver worker’s mantra: "pickle, pickle, pickle, flux, flux, flux!"
Days 3 and 4: By the middle of the week I’m tweaking the design a little. Tweaking is very time consuming. By the way, you are my lucky charm - we just got an order for opal earrings and another ring! I’m happily working away on all this silver, whilst dishes pile higher and higher in the sink.
Days 5 and 6: In the home stretch, hooray! The practice pendant is oxidized and will tumble overnight with yet another ring. Honestly, I’m not sure that our shop has ever seen this much action, but thank you very much!
Day 7 through 14: We are remodelling, and I have seriously lost focus. All that remains is to set the stones and do a final polish. Done! And here it is again, in all its imperfect glory.
Sigh. This is an addition to my personal collection of “Practice Pieces”. Someday I’ll have a “Scratch and Dent Sale”, but for now I know just how I want to improve this design. Mission accomplished! Denise
Thank you so much for sharing your “Practice Piece” with us this week, Denise.
I'm now taking a break from blogging for a little while, so until next time!