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Zion’s Waterfall of Perseverance

Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another piece from my Soul Searching Series; I call this one Zion’s Waterfall of Perseverance.  It had quite the journey, creatively speaking, to arrive at this destination!

The stone is an Ohio Flint that I purchased from Michael Hendrix of Minarex.  This was one of the first stones I purchased during the Gem & Mineral Show week in Denver.  Michael had a sneak preview of his works for CoMA members and I took my time looking over the collection of stones he presented.  This one jumped out at me and from the minute I saw it, I could see this lovely waterfall in the center of this.  What I envision as a waterfall in this stone is a very thin, pale blue section and I’m hoping that your various computer monitors will allow you to see the delicate color of the waterfall here.  It immediately reminded me of the scenery Dan & I have enjoyed during our visit to Zion National Park.  This waterfall is gracefully flowing and carving out its place in the deep brown ridges of the stone that surrounds it.  At the bottom I can see the mist rising up as the waterfall completes its journey.  I find it a spectacular stone.

Now this is one of those stones that haunted me during my creative block.  Circle shapes shouldn’t be a big deal to design around, right?  Well, apparently they can cause their own set of design issues.  Lexi guided me and things evolved.

The shape for the setting is more of a rounded square.  I chose a copper setting with sterling silver accents.  The accents came into play after I set the bezel for this stone.  Once I had the bezel soldered in place, I had a problem.  The join for the bezel ends came apart.  But as I looked at it, I saw the design evolving.  Why not open the bezel up even farther and have the stream/mist of the waterfall extend into the setting?  Sure, that will work!  And then I added a silver moon to the right.  Now I have a landscape and I’m luvin’ it.

First I opened up the bezel a little more to show the flow of the stream I see in this stone.  I then rounded the edges of the bezel to follow the gentle curves of the ‘water’ in the stone.  Next, I textured some sterling silver and drew what a felt would be the graceful lines of the stream after the waterfall entered it.  I used my saw to create those gentle lines of the water’s edge in the silver.   I soldered that overlay in place and then trimmed the excess from the side edge with my saw.  I filed the edges smooth and now there is an extension from the ‘water’ in the stone.  The little circle in the upper right is my representational moon.

There’s a simple copper bail on the back to accommodate most necklaces.  In this photo is one of those 50 strand black steel necklaces.  I find them very versatile.

My last step was to add a patina finish.  I’ve been using the new liver of sulpher gel and love the effects.  Once I had the color I wanted on the copper I quickly stopped the patina process.  And I wanted to get back the shiny silver, so I used one of those 3M polishing ‘spiders’ to take the patina off the silver accents.

I think my perseverance paid off and that’s how the title for this piece came to me.  It reminded me of a waterfall in Zion and was also evidence that perseverance pays off!  I hope you enjoyed its journey.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.



My first finished piece using bronze, copper, and silver.  The cabochon is one of my fused crinklized dichroic pieces.  You may notice that the design is not the same as the original piece I was working on….well, that’s because the first one didn’t turn out.  That’s ok, I learn from my mistakes (most of the time ;)) and I think the completed design actually turned out better as a result.  Maybe it was meant to be this way?

Dan took a short video of me soldering the bezel to this piece.  The next time I try this, I will try to do a little more step by step and explanation of the process.  I edited the original clip and condensed it so it would drag on.  Leading up to this point, I decided to add three copper overlays to add some interest to the design. I think it’s just part of my personality as a designer….I have an idea of what I would like, sketch it, and then as it progresses…I see other things that need to be incorporated in the piece.  That seemed to be the case for this piece with the addition of the copper overlays.

In the video, you can see these little pieces of copper sitting on top of the back plate and they are being soldered into place at the same time the bezel is.  Solder flows toward the heat as it melts so at the end of this video, I was trying to direct the solder flow to the outside edge of the bezel to form a complete join between the bezel and the back plate.  I saved the video as a QuickTime movie and for some reason, WordPress will not permit uploading of that file format, so  here’s the short clip of my soldering
linked off my web page.

This is how the base looked after the soldering.  Kind of a mess actually, but I’ve learned that things don’t look pretty until the finishing stage.  I guess that is pretty much normal for most of the work I do, whether it’s glass or metal.  It’s almost like unwrapping a present as I work on the final completion stages.


I cleaned it up, polished it, etc for the final look you see at the top of this post.  I haven’t decided if I want to add a patina too it.  I like seeing the different metal colors and textures.  I used a very subtle texture on the bronze.  I was trying to find something to compliment the texture of the crinklized glass.  And the copper is plain, but I rounded the edges of each overlay to help soften and blend them with the rest of the piece.  The bezel is fine silver.

It’s been a great weekend.  Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful week of creativity.  Strive to be more as an artist and a person.  Until next time…Namaste and Blessings to you.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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