Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Summer Vacation

Since School is back in session for the kids, I thought I'd write an essay about my Vacation. I did lots of relaxing and loafing, but I also went back to school. I took a class at a local community college. The class was called "stone setting", but it was more lapidary than setting. I've never cut and polished cabochons before, so it was fun to play with the studio's tools and meeting people who are interested in metal arts! Above are some of the unset stones that I finished. I did not attempt to use the slab cutter, but had some slabs to play with, so I cut them into shape and then ground them down. I have no idea what the stones are and no way to identify them, but I think they turned out quite nicely. The flat lap grinder and polisher is a great tool - which is now on my very long wish list! I didn't finish polishing all my stones, either:

I did manage some metalwork as well. Using some of the stones I cut - and a couple I didn't. Here's a cab cut by me made into a cloudy pendant. The stone was white, swirly and reminded me of a cloud. My son's sixth grade science class studied cloud formations in May, so I learned about clouds, too:
These earrings were also inspired by the stones, which wanted to be leaf shaped:
I just love this ring. I didn't cut the turquoise, but I did finally get a chance to play with my tube wringer:
And finally, my first attempt at tension setting. It's rough, I know and the green CZ is in there a little wonky and off kilter, but I'm pleased that I was able to get it in there. The hardest part is cutting the grooves with the hart burr - one side went perfectly and the other was very crooked and the grooves are not of even depth. I need a lot more practice with the flex shaft.
And that's what I did for my summer vacation!


  1. learning new things--sounds like a great way to spend your summer. Your tension setting looks great.

  2. Hi, recently, i read about the metal clay blog and sreach a whole bunch of metal clay artists. I like your work, especially, the new tube wringer, you could play a lot of different kind of design..