Thursday, March 7, 2013

Storm: A Shiny Project

Meet Storm. :) Storm is a special piece of Sugilite I got at the rock and gem show last year. She's a pretty hefty piece of rare shiny. She's a 1" x 1 3/4" slab that has a slate backer for protection that insisted on coming home with me, even though I had no idea what to do with her, and for the price...felt a tad bit unworthy to play with such a jewel.

So I didn't. I stashed her for future shiny time, when I could give her a proper wrappin'.

I came across this beauty again a couple of weeks ago. One of the things I'm doing lately, along with trying to catch up on orders, design/learn celtic style knot somethings, figure out chainmail necklaces and master weaving and viking knit is.... inventory. Trying to be good one night I was going thru one of my stashes of cabochons and Storm just about lept right out of the box at me, demanding a tree. Not much I can do when that happens except listen. It's either that or get nagged at by the shiny. So, I've been working on Storm off and on.

Say hello. :)

1" x 1 3/4" Sugilite
Isn't she pretty? All these swirling dark colors; blacks and grays and purples. And this funky smudge of mustard yellow whatever that is. 

Being so big, and so weighty, Storm needed to be done different. Had to bring out the big guns for the frame. Almost 5' of it. That's a lot. I've only made a couple trees with such big wire. It's a little trickier. Storm even has bigger wire for the actual tree. 

She's girthy. :D

The building of the tree part actually went pretty okey dokey. Some minor changes in the way I had to do it since the bigger wire works up differently, but I put a whupin' on it and was rather pleased. How to finish it off however became a puzzle. It needs to be wrapped up nice and strong. With the wire cage, Storm is almost 2" long. All that silver just adds to the weight of the stone making the whole thing heavier as well, and I didn't feel real great about wrapping it closed the way I do the smaller trees. She needs more than just a piece of 1/2 round wired holding it all together. 

Problem: I have no idea what that means or how to do it.

So I fiddled around, experimented with a few things and ended up wrapping the whole thing together with the 1/2 round, then used the thick gauge bail wires to make the bail, wrap it again, and tried to smooth it all out with a vortex swirly thing that wraps around it and secures it yet again. What I ended up with this...

Yaaaaaay!  *claps hands* It worked!  That baby there... se-CURE!:D  

I was pretty pleased. Mostly. I liked the look, I'm confident in how secure it is, but the tree... is overpowering my stone. The stone is too fabulous to be completely obscured by the tree. This will not do. I needed to tone it down. Soooo... antiquing we-a-went. 


I love her. I love her so hard.

She's not quite finished yet. I still need to give her a good tumble and polish her up then set the stone and put the final touches on the tree. Being such an expensive and rare stone, I was afraid to try to do all of that antiquing and tumbling to it, so I'm building this one all out of order.

So far, I'm over the moon about Storm. I hope to have her finished up tonight, then I may list her with a leather cord or something. Storm is going to need a heftier chain than I have, so I think I will work on making a special one for her to pair up later on. Maybe a viking knit. I bet that'd look good.


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