When I first started working with metal, setting objects with regular shapes (ovals, circles, etc.) was a challenge. Irregularly shaped objects were out of the question. It’s nice to have progressed to the point where I can handle some of these objects. One of them I worked with recently is the cobalt glass piece set in this pendant. It is part of a bottle top and it was not broken off evenly. One side sat higher than the other side and I had to deal with the raised areas that were previously used to screw the top on.
It took two tries to get the setting made. I knew I wanted a silver on brass setting. My first attempt was to try and solder a silver strip to a brass backing. After multiple attempts and almost taking the piece to the melting stage, I realized it was not going to work. I then decided to solder silver to silver and then rivet the silver setting to the brass backing. This worked. I later read somewhere that soldering silver and brass is problematic. Well, now I know that. However, I do have some pieces where I successfully did do just that. Go figure.
And the rivets – where are they? I decided I did not want them to be visible and used the curvature of the bottle top to my advantage. There are two rivets underneath the cobalt piece of glass and they are holding the silver and brass pieces together. They are visible from the back of the piece.
While I was working on the necklace, I just knew that this would be a blue necklace. Just knew it. And then when I looked at which beads really brought the pendant to life, it was not blue at all. It was these large red fire agate beads – opposites do attract. I love the combination. I also like the idea of treating this humble broken and discarded piece of glass as it if were a gemstone – something precious. Once again, so much is in the eye of the beholder.
7/3/10 update – I mention above reading that you cannot solder brass and silver. I read this in Art Jewelry Magazine. Later, they published a correction and said that it can be done with easy solder and a gentle flame. I guess that explains why it worked for me some of the time.