Monday, September 13, 2010

Using a Cabochon

I've been making these dragon's eyes lately - and someone around here, who is as fond of dragons as I am, just had a birthday - so I figured a dragon's eye necklace was in order.

The thing about these dragon's eyes is that they are made "off-mandrel." Which, for those of you who aren't into lampworking, means that instead of being made on a nice, sturdy rod of stainless steel, like a bead, they are precariously balanced on the end of a rod of glass while being made - which makes them about an order of magnitude harder to make.

And means that they are not a bead - and do not have a hole in them. They are more like a cabochon, with a flat back.

Which means they need a little more creativity to use in jewelry.

I went for a cruise around the store with the eyeball in hand - the very thought of which brought me to another project - it's soooo easy to get distracted that way - looking for something to go with it.

The colour of the Vintaj components went beautifully with the colour of the glass - and the shape and texture of the filigree components also wonderfully complemented the piece.

So - gather some up and back home to assemble.

After several attempts at bending the filigree around the eye - I decided that approach wasn't going to work in this case - as the filigrees weren't large enough to get around the eye. Next approach was to glue them - but as they are open, I didn't want a messy background with glue oozing out around the filigree. To solve this. I backed it with a copper disk. I placed the disk flat, applied glue to it, put the filigrees in place - let the glue set. Then, made up more glue, applied to the filigrees and the back of the eye, and put the eye in place, and let it set and cure.

Then, I attached the next filigree pieces with jumprings, and added a chain. Because I wasn't sure how long to make the chain, I packed up my tools and the necklace, and headed off the the birthday celebration.

Once presented - I could then check for length, and add a clasp - and after trying it on and handling it a bit, we discovered that the filigrees tended to get tangled up, as the jumprings would slide around to the side. So, I added another jumpring, to prevent that.

At which point, someone said, "what about a dangle?" Well - those Vintaj dragonflies are nice - but need a couple more holes in them - so I dug out the new hole-punch pliers - which go live on the site on Wednesday night - Love these! - and put a couple of holes in the wings, used the left over piece of chain from the necklace, and presto!

Dragon Eye - Dragon Fly.

Oh, and that "eye in hand" idea - turned it into a ring. Wonderfully creepy, eh?

I used the Devcon 2 ton glue for these projects, and I have to say, I am uber-impressed with it. The dispenser gives you two small puddles to mix and it easy to recap. The glue is crystal clear, and dries hard and glassy without any trace of gumminess. You can see the glossy back here on the ring - it looks just like glass.

And so far - the ring has proven to be surprisingly wearable. It's received several accidental hard knocks, and shows no sign of coming off. I'm pleasantly surprised.

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