This February Paul and I went to Tucson, Arizona to stock up on gemstones. There was an overwhelming amount of gem shows and we spent days perusing and purchasing stones. By the end of the trip I started to buy smaller amounts as we had bought so much already! It just so happened on the last day, I stumbled onto some gorgeous moss aquamarine stones. We have since used them all up and I realized we needed more. I was able to contact the place we got them from and asked if they could send us 100 carats, but they thought we had said double and sent us 200 carats! I was going to pick the ones I wanted and send the rest back but after looking at them all, I decided I just couldn't part with any. They were all so pretty!!! It was 75 stones in total which is a lot for us as we make each stone setting by hand, one at a time, so to set that many was going to take awhile.
I decided to create jewelry using only moss aquamarine stones for the month of July and try to set as many as possible. I started to make the settings so I would have these ready to use them in a design. Each stone is a different size and shape so a setting has to be created by hand. First a base is created by soldering a heavy wire and then hammering it flat. Then walls need to be created that will later be pushed over the stone to hold it securely in place.
This is a time consuming job. I spent awhile doing this for each stone, and at the end of the first day I had created 16 stone settings.
The next day I focused on making tiny little components that I could use to accent the stones in their finished designs.
After hand sawing out the tiny silver shapes I had stamped, I cut up the scrap and melted it into tiny balls which could also be used as accents. I set a goal to create 6 necklaces, 6 bracelets, 6 pairs of earrings and 6 rings. Here are some pics from the designs throughout the month. The collection just kept growing and growing, it was really fun to lay it all out and decide what would come next.
The collection started to really come together! I ended up with 30 pieces total and I loved how everything went together. I usually spend a lot of time deciding what stones to use and by working this way, I was able to focus a bit more on the actual creation and design. I was shocked how much I was able to create in a few weeks. After everything has been soldered and the stones have been set, it took a few days to oxidize, polish, create chains and put the finishing touches on everything. Then it is time for pictures! Here is everything laying out waiting to be photographed.
After everything is photographed, it takes a few days to list it on the website. To figure out the price of a piece we weigh it before the stone is set to determine the weight of the silver. Then we add in the cost of the stone. If you ever wondered where we come up with our prices, it's that simple!
While I was in my little moss aquamarine bubble, Paul was off making some awesome stuff! So this month is a good blend, we have lots of the new moss aqua line and some really cool pieces featuring different stones that Paul created. These will be hitting the site by August 1st. Let us know what you think of all the newest pieces!