I completed this pendant last night during my lesson with Lexi. One of my goals with this piece was to carry the stone designs into the surrounding setting. Fortunately, I had received one of the first texture hammers I’ve ever ordered and it lent itself perfectly to creating the effect on the metal. A patina was added to help accent the depth of the texture and compliment the coloration of the stone itself.
The stone in this setting is a Chinese Writing Stone. The name of the stone is derived from the crystalline structures that resemble the Chinese characters of the written language. I have a couple of these and I really enjoy the randomness of the patterns created by the crystal structures in the stone. In my opinion, the stone has a very dramatic, striking appearance. I will be creating more of these pendants for the remaining Chinese Writing Stones I have. Right now I think I will continue to carry the texture into the next settings, but vary the effects to accent each piece…depending on the patterns in those stones.
This was my initial design. At this stage I was debating about creating a pierced cut out to convey the ‘characters’ as this drawing shows. That just didn’t seem to be working the way I wanted. Then I thought about cutting pieces of sterling and soldering that around the background to carry the characters into the piece. When the texture hammer arrived, I knew as soon as I saw it… it was perfect for creating the effect I wanted. In this photo, you can see that I’ve just cut out the back piece, which is 20 gauge Sterling Silver. I took a couple of days to finally decide what effect I wanted to add to the back piece and as the final result shows, the texture won out over some of my other options.
Lexi has written a step by step article for this month’s issue of Lapidary Journal (August 2009), that provided the inspiration for the bail shown in the picture below. I carried the texture effect to the bail. Once I had soldered the bezel on the front of the pendant, it was turned over so this bail could be soldered in place.
I know, no one really sees this part of the pendant except the person who wears it. However, as I’m learning from Lexi, that’s part of the craftsmanship that belongs with art jewelry. Happy creating everyone!