Working at my bench this morning enjoying a cup of warm green tea & the nice light breeze coming from the open sliding door.
After pulling out all the tools I needed to get started, I looked at the variety of shapes and sizes of stones I have to choose from. I chose this beautiful turquoise silica egg shaped cabochon. I got this turquoise stone from a local native supply man named Koomer.
Koomer is a cherokee native, he was in the Navy many moons ago & his art work is absolutely amazing. If he had a site or was online I would post his info. He has pristine labridary (stone cutting and polishing) skills too. He mined & hand-cut the turquoise stone I picked out today. Are you a local in the greater Phoenix area? He sells at the Mesa flea market. I love going through his wares because he carries mainly local gemstones & about forty percent of them are cut and polished by him. I'm a big believer in supporting the local economy. Plus how cool is Koomer? I'm grateful for the friendship and business relationship we've had over the years.
A short step by step of the jewelry making process for you to enjoy;
- Pick out the stone
- Draw out the design
- Choose metal material for the stone and the ring shank. Hand saw/cut to appropriate size
- File all rough edges especially where the solder needs to flow
- Clean metal before soldering *also make sure heat block is clean
- Solder all pieces in solder temp. order (Hard. Medium. Easy.) Use flux to guide your solder flow lines
- Use pickle after piece cools and repeat solder if needed. This cleans off fire scale
- After pickle and soldering, it's time to polish with four different sandpaper grits. Each grit removes scratches, solder marks, deeps marks, fire scale & whatever small damage done during the above steps (may have to start over if the damage is to bad)
- Place the stone in the bezel setting & set it carefully. Sand and polish down the sides to remove any marks the bezel tool could of made
- After high-polishing is finished. (carefully polish around the stone) Patina is an option. There are many patina colors available. Each one has its own directions on the box.
- After patina. A final polish
I may have missed a couple of steps in between but I wanted to give you an idea of what the process entails.
I treat polishing like a meditation practice because, at the time, my mind isn't wandering and I'm focused on only two things; detail & keeping a steady hand. Meditation is all about finding stillness and peace throughout our daily lives. Metalsmithing makes me still which is good because my nickname is Hummingbee. I received this nickname because I'm a doer and a go-go-go type-A personality (bumble bee) with a calm/peaceful demeanor most of the time (humming bird).
This is my very first blog post & I'm so excited to share my creative process with you. I will be posting new designs 3 times a week! Blogging as often as I can. Let the ideas and solder flow! Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a lovely day! Comment and share if you like my blog.