Friday, October 5, 2012

From Rough to Finished Piece

Here is the first piece I created from start to finish.  I took this leopard jasper from rough to finished cabochon and set it in a fine silver bezel.

Leopard Jasper Cabochon Necklace

lapidary leopard jasper cabochon

How I've Been Spending My Weekend

Over the past few years, I've been wanting to learn lapidary and metalsmithing to expand my jewelry making.  I inherited some incredible lapidary equipment and rocks from my grandfather.



He loved slabbing, cutting and polishing cabochons.  Of course, there wasn't an instruction manual to be found for any of the equipment, and with grandpa no longer around to ask, I had questions.  Lots of know, like "what the heck is this?"  Or "how does this thing work?"  And, "where do I start?"  It took a long time of staring longingly at the equipment and supplies before I just jumped in and went for it.  I have to admit, it's still a bit intimidating, and I still see areas to improve in my cutting (girdles and flat spots for example) but it's a great feeling to pop a finished cab off a dop stick!

It's also empowering to use grinders, saws, torches and power tools and have a finished piece of jewelry to show for it.  Look for new stuff in my shop soon!