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Monday, March 12, 2012

A Beautiful Ocean Jasper Quandry

From the moment that I got this Ocean Jasper, I was itching to set it. The colors are so intense and beautiful and it's a triangle, which I love.

I had a helluva time setting this stone because it is so insanely polished and slippery. But, I certainly can't complain about a great polish! It has a glossy, mirror finish- one of the finest I've seen.

This is an experimental design. I finished half of it, put it away for about a week, then I was inspired to finish it. It was pretty tricky to do, but worth the results. I had planned to los it, but the raw copper is perfect with the colors of the stone. I wish I had done it with coated copper!



 

I'm probably not going to sell this and I'll tell you why and ask your opinion. The wires that come down the sides are 18 gauge. They are hammered hard, too. However, they can snag and bend if pulled too hard. I'm really finicky about that. I would wear this myself because I constructed it and know how to handle it, but the average person may not be so understanding of the design. In future re-designs, I tend to address this issue.

As you all know, I don't do swirly work. I have not a thing against swirly work, it's just not my style. Of course, I have done it before, but I was always worried about snags and pulls. So, my questions are for those of you that have done swirly, curly work or do it now. Do you worry about the hazards of the design? Do you advise clients of the proper care of the piece and potential problems? Do you find that the recipient just understands and accepts the nature of that style wirework? Part of the allure of wirework is the delicateness, but how delicate is too delicate? I have always wondered about these things. These issues would be the same for a piece similar to my ocean jasper piece, so I am very interested in your opinions.

12 comments:

  1. I don't do swirly settings. I think they can be really beautiful, but I never learned the technique.

    This stone is lovely, and the setting is perfect for it. Your settings may be "minimal", but they are beautifully designed and have style.

    Joyce

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  2. Tela, would you feel comfortable showing the back of this piece. if it would help us understand better your issues with it snagging or bending? Maybe you could share how to do a setting that would avoid those problems.

    Joyce

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    1. Good morning, Joyce :)

      It isn't the back of the piece I'm worried about. It is the sides. I'm worried that one of the long side wires might get snagged and pulled out or sideways. It's pretty strong, but you never know.

      The best way to avoid the problem, in my opinion, would be to not have long, unlocked wires- like the long side wires in the ocean jasper piece :)Maybe I'm just paranoid.

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    2. Oh, now I understand. Thanks for the explanation.

      It is important to be considerate of the person wearing the piece. You don't want a disappointed customer or something coming back for repair, if you can help it.

      Joyce

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  3. Tela, A drool worthy stone! The colors and swirls of the Jasper are so deep and rich. This setting is unique and compliments the stone. I don't think you are being paranoid. A setting that may get snagged without extra care is one I feel you are wise to keep to yourself. You are a thoughtful designer and go the extra mile in thinking about the durability of a piece. To me,that is an important part of being an artist who sells. It will be interesting to read if people do give special wear instructions for the swirly pieces.

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    1. Thanks, Christine :) I have been wearing this all day. I love it. I don't think I'll take it apart, but just keep it for myself, especially since I love the stone so much. It hasn't snagged anything, but when and if it does, I would rather it be me that does it. :)

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  4. I do a bit of swirly work - minimal amount really, but I do point out to the buyer (once they've decided to buy) that they will need to take a "little extra care" with one specific place as it might catch, is not supported, whatever the reason. This is done in person as I don't sell on the net so can be done with (perhaps) more tact than when done with the written word. And I'm not talking really delicate, I try and make my pieces as robust as possible but just that one little curlique is not supported and does just stick out a bit and that's the way it's supposed to be and that's why someone likes the design, so take care with it.

    I agree with Joyce you don't want to disappoint the customer but the customer also has to be made aware (educated) of how to care for their jewellery, cleaning, storing etc, so why not add wearing to the list.

    Oh, btw, I really like you pendant and I would know how to care for it :)

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    1. Hi Vicky :) Thank you so much for your well thought out answer. You bring up a good point. It has to be much easier to tell people, in person, about the characteristics of the design. It don't know of a way to say something that wouldn't sound very off putting in print. It's good to know that you educate people about the work. I would buy from you in a heartbeat. :)

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  5. Hi dear Tela,
    I stumbled on this post and I wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I buy tutorials and jewellery based on whether they are easy to wear. I don't like it if I have to worry about something I am wearing. So I agree, the setting and the stone are beautiful, but if I made it, I would keep it for my self. I would feel terrible even if I pre-warned the receiver and the necklace pre-say snagged their favourite shirt or got caught on something and was bent. Good call, I agree with Christine, you are thoughtful and on the ball!!
    Pennylane

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  6. Hi Miss Penny :) I'm so glad you joined in :) I think most people feel the same way about not having to worry about what they're wearing. I remember when I started, I did more swirly work and I really worried about it. I did find, however, that my clients loved wirework just for that style and knew how delicate it was. I, on the other hand, never got used to the feeling that things could snag. That is part of the reason why my style developed the way it did.

    I wore the pendant all day yesterday and had lots of comments on it, so it doesn't bother me to keep it. :)

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  7. I believe jewelry is meant to be worn! I don't dress up much because I'm old and I never go anyplace, but you'd be surprised what a pendant like this does for a sweatshirt. If my jewelry snagged my clothing, I think I could get over it, as long as the jewelry isn't damaged. On the few occasions when I damage a jewelry item, I repair it and try to learn from it so the next item is stronger, coiled tighter, etc.

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    1. Thanks for such a great answer! I feel ya! I don't mind wearing this myself, but I'd hate to sell it and have a client have a problem with it. I like to wear t-shirts a lot and I love how a nice pendant can dress up a nice new t-shirt- especially black. :)

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