Past Jewelry Making Techniques:
We maintain a techniques web page that provides links to the discussion of techniques in our prior newsletters. You can visit this web page here. Follow the links on that page to the discussion of the technique in that newsletter.
Current Jewelry Making Technique:
This weeks jewelry making technique is a new web page that defines the terminology for cut and faceted gemstones and discusses the process of setting a gemstone. The process of setting gemstones historically was one of the more difficult and highly prized skills in making gemstone jewelry. Since naturally occurring gemstones almost always have some form of flaw or inclusion and these flaws can become a source for fracturing the gemstone if they are handled roughly, setters formerly carried a high level of professional insurance since it was very possible that improperly setting a cut and faceted gemstone could cause the stone to fracture or break.
Technology has led to three advances that make it appropriate for beginners to intermediate craft-persons to be able to set their own gemstones. First, with cubic zirconia and man-made gemstones, the price of the stones has dropped to the point where it is feasible for novices to afford the purchase of high quality cut and faceted gemstones. Second, because the cubic zirconia and man-made gemstones are manufactured in a laboratory they are essentially free of inclusions and other imperfections that can be the source for a failure (breaking) of a gemstone. Third, new types of settings have been developed that allow beginners to making jewelry to be able to set gemstones by hand or with simple, affordable and commonly available tools. If you are interested in more information on the terminology of gemstone or in the process of setting a gemstone please select here or select the figure, above-right.
Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making designs:
This weeks featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our V shaped chandelier earrings shown left and right. This is one of about 6 designs that we have documented both in our web site and in a separate one page Adobe Acrobat document. You can visit our one page sheet of Acrobat instructions for these earrings here. In these Acrobat instructions we have simplified the design slightly from the way we documented it on the Internet. The earrings at left were made using the Acrobat instructions and the earrings shown at right were made using the instructions in our web site. The differences are rather small in the finished product. The Acrobat instructions replace the two Super Pegs used in our web site with two regular metal pegs and may be better for this reason.
This is a design that is rather special to us. After making these earrings the first time, we made an extra pair to give as a gift to Marcia, our customer service person. We presented Marcia the gift at the front door of a party as we walked in. Marcia was kind enough to immediately wear the earrings. From that point, we walked from the front door to the main room and as we were being introduced at the party, one of the other guests at the party said "Marcia, I just noticed your earrings. Where did you get those? I really like them." As you can imagine, we were very happy. The other guest assumed that Marcia had purchased the earrings and the other guest liked them enough that she considered purchasing a pair for herself.
Please select here, or select the picture above to view our instructions for making the V Shaped Chandelier Wire & Beads Earrings jewelry making project.
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