Garnet Stones

With the chillier weather and shortened days, there suddenly seems to be more time to focus on making jewelry. Although I have an endless list of projects, I am constantly taking on new ones. A friend recently asked if I could wrap some beads for her. It sounded like a simple request, until she handed me the beads, a set of faceted garnet stones. They are very beautiful, but only measure 10mm and are not suitable for wrapping. Upon telling her this, she indicated I should surprise her with a different design. The challenge was on!

After several unsuccessful stops at local bead stores, I was unable to find small bezels. I turned to online resources and suddenly was overwhelmed by the numerous types available. After thinking about it, I decided to experiment a little instead. Using round nose pliers, I added texture to some copper discs, shaped them into flowers and placed the garnets in the center. I then formed a large flower out of copper wire and secured the other flowers on top. Once assembled, I applied a heat patina with a butane torch.

Although I like the final result, it’s too large for a pendant:

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Fortunately, the stones were secured with double-sided tape, just in case my experiment didn’t quite work out. Plan B is to make a similar design but with smaller flowers.

I managed to find time to visit the Gem & Mineral Show over the weekend. Although I was there for several hours, I only had a chance to visit about half of the vendors! My niece came with us and had an opportunity to participate in several fun activities. Who knows, she may decide to become a gemologist some day!

The best part about going to these shows, aside from seeing all of the beautiful stones, is  finding something unique. As we were making our way to the exit, I stumbled on some  matt jasper stones. Each one contains a unique pattern, similar to picture jasper but without the opaqueness. The stones are round and oval in shape with flat sides. What a wonderful discovery…they’re perfect for wire wrapping! The below necklaces feature the stones wrapped with hematite colored wire:

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A few other stones were wrapped with copper wire and are waiting for the liver of sulfur patina to be applied.

I have to get back to the beads…

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What are your thoughts?