These drawings represent the various designs I came up with for this Tiffany Stone. The drawing in the bottom left corner of this picture is the one I have selected for this piece. I’ve cut out the sterling silver back plate for this one and now I’m at the start of adding the rest of the design components.
I just love the different looks of Tiffany Stones. Of course, they have some wonderful variations of my favorite color purple!
Part of the inspiration for this piece came from a cover photograph of the February 2009 issue of Lapidary Journal, pictured below. I ordered this back issue because I was so intrigued by the design of the piece on the cover and this piece was featured in one of the magazine’s great step by step articles.
As a result, I am learning how to forge metal. Wow, this is great fun. Right now I only have the top piece partially completed as you can see in the picture below. That piece that I’ve forged is in the upper right hand corner of the picture. I still have two more sections to forge and then as an added touch I will be adding some half round wire at the base to give a ‘pillow’ look to it.
Next to the forged piece is the square wire that it once was. Forging is an interesting technique. In Robert Von Neumann’s book, “The Design and Creation of Jewelry”, he describes forging as taking thicker gauges of metal and moving the metal through carefully placed hammer blows. Now as with all of this, I need to practice, practice, practice. It is fascinating to me to see how I was able to move the metal and gradually take it from one thickness to a gentle slope, if you will, that reaches a thin edge. My hammering technique needs work and Lexi says I’ll pick it up quickly. That’s good!
Of course, Lexi guided me through this process and it was such a great learning experience for me. I used a combination of Lexi’s anvil to begin the basic forming and then moved on to her tablespoon stake to create the gentle curve. It’s called a tablespoon stake because it has a spoon shape that is perfect for creating gentle curves. I had to anneal the piece several times to soften it after it was hardened by all the hammer blows. Did I mention how fascinating this process is to me? Ultimately, my comfort level with pliers, from my wire wrapping, led me to finish the final curve using pliers rather than shaping it on the stake. Hey, there’s more than one way to do something, right?
And yes, I have to find an anvil! I have my bench anvil (4″ square), but I need/want a real anvil. The kind farriers use! There are some local horse shoe suppliers and maybe I can purchase one through them. I’m hoping to find one locally so I won’t have to pay to have one shipped! I’ve looked for good used anvils, but so far, no luck. The quest for the right anvil begins in earnest.
I continue to work on the hand made chain. Lexi has seen it and based on its complexity, she confirmed that it will take me a while to finish it! That’s me, pick something that requires a lot for my first attempt! I know I’m going to love it when it’s finished.
An added bonus, Lexi had started her blog, The Torch, and made her first post today. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you will check it out and leave a comment for her too. I know she’d enjoy hearing from you!
All for now, until next time, here’s wishing all of you a great week of creativity. Strive to be more as an artist and a person!