Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Hidden Gem

Today I found a hidden gem...

(pun intended!)

I feel so blessed to have found a community of wonderful people so skilled in the art of gem carving, cabochon cutting, gemstone faceting and silver smithing.
All ready and willing to share their knowledge, loan books and organize field trips to gem shows and fossicking for stones.
The club has equipment for all these crafts.
Tubs full of stone slabs just waiting to be made into cabochons,
found while out fossicking and brought in by the members.
Faceting machines with all their intricate dials and angle measurements.
The familiar jeweler's benches.
An enameling kiln!
Cabochon cutting wheels and discs, neatly labeled with emery grit grades and running water to help with cutting and polishing stones.
A little pot of dopping wax, hot and ready to secure your stone for cutting and shaping and polishing.
An array of stones at various levels of the cabbing process sit in little holders.
Cabinets full of stone specimens,
most of them from right here in Australia.

The delight of it all had me floating...

I applied for membership.

I'm looking forward to this journey.
I look forward to sharing it with you!

--- Mariann ---

Friday, May 27, 2011

Something exciting..

I have some exciting news!

Although I have to wait until tomorrow to reveal all.
Let's just say my tiny little lapidary set-up might just be put to good use!

(She's gotten so dusty these past few years)

Have your fingers crossed for me...

...and have a grand weekend!

P.S. Be sure to visit me here tomorrow, I can't wait to tell you!

--- Mariann ---

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Workshop Wednesday

My 'Ruffled Series' rings were an absolute pleasure to create!
I loved the process of hammering away to create the textured edges.
So I continued with this series,
But added a new dimension.

The positive and negative.
An influence in my life,

Positive space and negative space,
in the jewellery sense.

Here is today's Workshop Wednesday:

Lovely minty green chrysoprase cabochon, design ready for sawpiercing

Sawpiercing from sterling silver (matching your nail polish to your stone of choice is a must!)

Those little cut out pieces can be used in new jewellery designs (it's got me thinking...)

Paper removed, looking good so far

Texturing the ruffled edges before soldering

Shaping the tapered ring band

Ready for soldering

Adding the oxidized patina before stone setting

My little flower stamp

Ready for stone setting!


And here are the final photos

And another in this series with a carnelian cabochon

There is a third ring just about finished, too.

They will be listed in my Etsy and Madeit shop this week!

Thank you for visiting the workshop!

--- Mariann ---

P.S. It was the coldest night last night in 3 years here in Melbourne.
And today was the coldest day in 11 years for the month of May!
The tops of the snow fields were blanketed with snow.
It'll be a bumper snow season!
I can't wait!

I did say it was cold, didn't I?

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Cold


I think I blinked and a whole month flew by without the slightest wiggle of a kitty's whisker!

The days are getting shorter.
We are slowly gliding into winter.

The dark tendrils of the night chase me all the way home from work through the fields and pastures.

It's cold.


But I've been making and creating and warming up the workshop with the flames of my soldering torch.
I'll show you what I've made in tomorrow's blog post.

But for now, here's what I've been up to:

Cuddling these..


and Shadow

Enjoying this..


Sweet, Sweet Home

Driving through these..

And relaxing here..

the iconic Luna Park

near sunny St Kilda beach
The Esplanade Market there is an absolute treat!

I hope your Monday is a beautiful start to the week ahead!

--- Mariann ---