"Tales of the heart" PMC contest (again huge congratulations to the wonderful winners! :) ). I'm always very eager to take part in all contests I hear about. Of course I immediately have SO brillant ideas ;), and of course I usually don't meet contests' deadlines... (I guess that a good shrink would make me think about subconscious self-doubting and self-sabotaging ;) or maybe just about laziness and lack of organization ;D ). In this case I had an idea of Art Nouveau stylized pendant with a discreet heart motif intervined with some subtle, organic lines. Long story short - I had a lot of work with Valentine's Day custom orders, started making this pendant a day before the deadline, and (not a surprise), didn't finish it on time.
Feeling free from the deadline and this heart theme, I changed a bit the original design and finished the pendant a few weeks later. But if you look closely, you can still notice one small heart there :).
Below you can find a few photos I took while making this piece. Ah, and of course this "recycling" thing explained ;).
Everything began with a stone - lovely, slender lapis lazuli cabochon. I just drew a general sketch around it. I used it later as an actual reference, so I made sure it was accurately sized and symmetrical.
And here is the piece ready for firing. I stuck some ceramic fiber in a few places, to support the pendant and prevent distortion in firing. This time I used PMC3. I really like it.
After firing I soldered a stone setting and two small jump rings (Actually I had to do this two times... During first soldering I overheated my bezel wire and it became totally brittle, so I had to "undo" all the soldering, clean the piece, prepare new bezel and solder it again - this time more carefully...).
I also gilded all tiny balls and flower centers using Art Clay 22K gold paste. I decided that yellow gold would look nice combined with the colour of my lapis lazuli cabochon and gold pyrite flecks on its surface. In this photo the piece is oxidized, but still mat and dirty, waiting for finishing touches.
And what about all that recycling?;)
Then I recalled a pair of earrings with lapis lazuli intarsia I bought many years ago at a mineral fair. I lost one of these earrings, and what can you do with just one earring? I pulled it to pieces, took all the stones out and made my own lapis lazuli inlay. Lapis lazuli is quite a soft stone (5-5.5 in Mohs scale), so I was able to slowely shape it with my rotary tool and some files. This way I got four thin, tiny pieces of lapis lazuli that fitted well into those four empty spaces :). I secured them in place with special resin.
And that's the whole story ;).