I've only been able to spend about an hour in the workshed over the last couple of days, partly due to the fact that the school Easter holidays thankfully have started. I say thankfully as Ben was getting really tired the last week or so of term. He's taken to school so well that I sometimes forget that he's only done two terms of full time school, and everyone gets tired towards the end of term - I know I always did! He was telling me that he didn't like school last week, but still running in the classroom door with a big smile on his face. He's not really old enough to understand that he wasn't as enthusiastic about school as normal because he was tired and needed a break, not because he didn't like school any more. Anyway, he's having a break now - he and T have gone to see T's dad in Spain for a couple of days. Jamie and I have stayed here as it takes up to 6 weeks to get a new passport for a baby and 6 weeks ago we were rather busy with other things! We dropped them off at Bournemouth airport yesterday, which was the main reason I didn't make it out into the shed yesterday. Monday's reason was a mammouth shopping trip - new summer clothes, school trousers and school shoes for a rapidly growing five year old.
Anyway, I finally made it out there (with Jamie in his red bouncy chair) for an hour this afternoon and started setting the stone in this pendant. He sits and bounces and giggles as I explain to him exactly what I'm doing and why - I've started his training already! I actually did the silver work before Christmas but haven't had the chance to finish it off until now. My first jobs were to file out a couple of stubborn pieces of solder inside the bezel and I still need to give the bezel a final checking over and burnish. Then it'll be time to take several dozen photos before choosing just three or four to put on the website! My lovely new laptop will make editing the photos sooo much quicker than my old dinosaur :)
The stone, by the way, is far more beautiful that the photo shows. I hope that the photos I take of the finished piece do it justice - blues and purples are so much harder to capture accurately for some reason. It's just over 75cts of blue apatite, and has a hint more of soft turquoise than my monitor shows the photo. It's a substantial 48mm by 32mm, but it's not the most dense of stones and I've cut away as much of the silver behind the setting as I could without affecting the strength of the piece so while it'll be a beautifully big pendant it'll be surprising light for it's size. The only thing I can't decide at the moment is whether to leave it as a pendant on a nice medium weight bought chain or to handcraft a chain for it and turn it into a necklace rather than a pendant. What do you think?