Custom orders are not an unusual occurrence for us at DLC Gems; orders for custom ring sizes, stone settings, etc., are business as usual. However every once in a while we get a commission for something more distinctive or involved and invariably these prove to be our favorite kind of commissions. We had two such orders recently that I would like to share with you.
The first comes from Tiffany, who brought us something special - a Tiffany Stone cabochon in colors of lavender and cream with a distinctive broken edge. I could tell immediately that the stone was precious to her and had meaning deep beyond the mere intrinsic value of the stone. Indeed, any offer or suggestion to rework the stone was politely refused; the breaking of the stone itself had meaning for her. Instead, Tiffany wanted the stone set in sterling silver; a simple setting that could be worn as a pendant.
Accepting the commission, I proceeded to set the stone in a sterling sliver setting, bezel set on three sides to secure the stone and open on the broken edge. I adjusted the proportions of the silver back on the side with the broken edge to balance out the piece. I then polished the silver where the broken edge would be so the stone could be reflected onto the silver where the missing piece would have been. A simple setting, yet designed and executed with thoughtfulness and care. Tiffany was quite pleased with the finished work and I was grateful for the opportunity to work on a beloved stone.
Here's an update from Tiffany regarding her commission:
Thank you, sincerely! When I saw what you created with my beloved stone, I cried...Happy, Grateful tears! You are amazing to work with!, you are professional, you listen to what I asked for even though every other person I talked with said that it couldn't be done. You did it! To say you are talented is an understatement. I am forever grateful for your kindness, the fact that you allowed me to ask for what I wanted and you respected my wishes to leave my stone broken. You didn't try to change my mind. The setting is more beautiful than I imagined. I wear this beautiful necklace every day. I am so grateful! I have found the only person to make my jewelry from this point forward. No reason to search the stores for what I have in mind, I will simply contact you. And I know I will be delighted every single time.
The Second story I would like to share involves a long loved piece of self collected fire agate rough from Arizona. Bonnie brought us this stone collected some 15 years ago out in the desert of eastern Arizona and asked us if we could polish and possibly set the stone for her. The stone would not work well with traditional lapidary techniques in terms of cabochon cutting, but fortunately for her fire agate carving happens to be a specialty of mine. I took the commission and set to work carving the stone.
Bonnie's fire agate
Three weeks later and approximately 15 hours of labor into bringing out the best of what the stone had to offer I completed the commission for the gem carving, carefully carving out the fire agate and polishing it to a brilliant 100,000 grit polish. The stone was now ready to set for jewelry. To learn more about my fire agate carving technique please see my Fire Agate Carving Tutorial.
The finished fire agate carving
Bonnie was very pleased with the carving work and we proceeded to discuss a possible setting for it. She has a passion for copper jewelry and decided on a copper bracelet setting for the fire agate carving. I was happy to oblige, as copper is a material I prefer to work with and we both thought the warm copper color would perfectly compliment the warm bronze and brown coloration in the stone.
This stone would require a complex bezel setting, contoured to follow the curves and flow of the carved stone. The band for the bracelet would be fabricated from heavy gauge copper, 8 mm wide, textured, oxidized and then buffed. The contoured bezel cup would be soldered to the band, the stone set, and the entire piece polished to a brilliant gloss.
Here I am polishing the bracelet:
And here is the finished piece, stone set, shined and polished and ready to deliver to the client:
To say she was happy with the finished piece I think is an understatement; but you don't have to take my word for it, here's a lovely note we received from her after delivering the completed piece:
"Got all the way home with a big smile on my face that just won't fade ....My own rock find is now on my wrist .....I am so happy to have connected with these talented artists , they have made a dream come true just for me !"
Thank you Bonnie, for the wonderful opportunity to craft this beautiful piece of jewelry for you.
- Don @ DLC Gems.
#commission #customjewelry #fireagate #tiffanystone #jewelry #dlcgems
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