Friday, October 10, 2008

Cubic Zirconia Experiments and Trashed Jewellery

This is a fused gold ring that has been set with a carved piece of cubic zirconia.
This is the first time I have actually carved CZ.
It is easy to carve, and takes a polish to die for.
This is my opinion (ahem).
The ring first had some black coral in, but the guy who owns it, broke that.
Then I put some Jett in it . That lasted 3 months and it too was busted.*

So I decided on black CZ.
It is hard and works in rings generally, so I will see how it pans out.

This is my latest laminated CZ. 12 carats,-- 20mm x 6.5 mm.
I really like the way the blue mixes with the pink and throws purple flashes around.
I know, I know, people sneer at CZ. But the coloured stuff is really nice.
I got three or so more laminated pieces coming out.
I don't make these to sell, rather to gain experience in cutting laminated stones and to see the play of colours after they are finished
I have done about 10 of them so far and quite frankly, most are abject failures.
My first one was a peridot laminated to a garnet, and putting it bluntly, it was kak.

The green and red bled into each other to form a colourful dung pile.
Also, it occurred to ol' bright eyes that to experiment with expensive natural material is maybe not cost effective.
I am not too sharp with money, but even I can figure out that turning saleable material into an unsaleable product does not pay the rent.

Therefore CZ became the experimental material of choice for me.

The problem though, is that the resin that I use to join the stones takes five days to harden. I then wait another two days to make sure it is hard.

It's a mission to wait a week.

*I have some customers who are very hard on their jewellery.

I think the person who the was hardest on any of my jewellery, was a lady called Fred ( no kidding)
She was a feisty li'l old lady who took no shit from nobody.
She bought a multi coloured stone ring from me, set pavé with small 2mm stones.
Emeralds, amethysts, and diamonds they were.

She gardened a lot.

The first stones that got trashed were the emeralds.
I told her that if you garden while wearing the ring without gloves, you will fruinck the stones up.

She said no problem, and every six months she would bring this ring in and have new stones set.
Always new emeralds and then the amethysts.
I could see that the amethysts wore down slower than the emeralds.

The emeralds wore down fast, and on one occasion, the emerald had worn down to a tiny round ball, held in place by the flattened pavé claws.

The diamonds did nothing, of course.

The gold of ring wore down as well but luckily the rings design allowed for larger and larger stones to be put in. So all I did was set larger stones.

However, the limit was fast approaching .

Sooner than later I would have to make a new ring.
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