I originally had another plan for this stone. It was this complicated pendant with about three layers of silver, I had it drawn and laid out, and the bezel section finished when I just happened to set it on my finger to see what it looked like.
At that point, I decided to make it a ring, a weighty, chunky piece with a backless plate that allows the stone to sit flush against the skin.
It's a Carey Plume Agate and has such beautiful rich red plumes unfurling like clouds toward the center of the stone and when you hold it to the light you can see the milky inclusions buried deep under the surface of the stone.
It has such great weight and heft when you wear it (something I haven't stopped doing since I finished it two nights ago).
I also tried a little something different with the band.
See, I've noticed that often when I wear a ring with a large stone that has a normal band, the stone is so heavy that the ring will kind of sit sideways. Well, that is if I wear it on my ring finger. So, when I made the band for this ring, I tried to follow the natural curvature of the hand, lining the band up so that the band sits naturally against the palm of my hand, and the stone stays straight.
I love it. I really do. The only thing that's driving me nuts is the little spot where I closed the bezel. I filed and filed away but was really nervous that if I took too much metal, I'd open the bezel.
So, I left it as is.
Which is fine with me, this one is staying on my finger anyway!
I also set the stone on this turquoise gumdrop ring.
Shaped like an arrow, this one sits with a high profile in a scalloped bezel on a slim band.
I didn't think I'd like something so delicate and feminine, but turns out, they're fun to make and fun to wear.
I just got back from spending the day at a local arts festival and we picked up a couple of handmade gifts for Christmas this year.
I was amazed to see how many jewelry designers there were.
A lot of metalworkers, some gorgeous lampwork....
I realized that with all of the competition out there, it's so important to really find your unique perspective in whatever it is you're making. It's not just enough to recreate a technique, after awhile, people are going to see the same thing over and over. You really have to find away to take that torch-fired enameling and do something unique with it.
I've found that for me, it helps to try laying out a piece a few different ways. Turn the stone in a different direction, or try layering elements. It really helps to have a clean spot on your work table where you can "assemble" the piece before assembling it.
Try bringing in an unexpected material or a pop of color.
If you're selling your work this holiday season, I really hope that it's successful for you and that you're able to find your customers who will appreciate your work. I realized again today how difficult it is for artists. It's been awhile since I've listed anything on Etsy and I've never done a show. Good luck to all my artist friends and thank you so much to those of you who have supported me in the past.
I truly hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week. I'm definitely looking forward to good food and family. (My husband is looking forward to football, Iron Bowl anyone?)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!