Designer cabochons are special one of a kind (OOAK) stones created from the natural beauty of various rare geological materials that have been extracted from the earth and shaped by talented lapidary artists from around the globe. Because of their uniqueness and rarity, they deserve to be fabricated into a piece of jewelry that goes beyond a plain setting to one that showcases their beauty.
This workshop was created for metalsmiths and semiprecious stone lovers that have purchased and/or created special cabochons but need help in creating the “story” or “home” that the stone will be housed in. Designing a piece with a stone or object that has special meaning to someone and conveying that story through the construction of the piece will also be discussed.
Participants will start out the day gathered around the table with a few of their treasures and will take turns working with the instructor on design options for one or two cabochons so that the whole class may benefit from seeing many design concepts started. From there you will work independently and one on one with the instructor to refine your design ideas. Techniques for documenting designs and determining the supplies needed to begin fabricating will be presented to show you how to keep track of your progress and to create a record for documenting and pricing your special pieces.
Highlights of the workshop include:
*What is the stone “telling” you or why is it special to you.
*When to keep the design simple and elegant to not overpower the stone. (textures, patinas, multiple components, etc.)
*Design that protects delicate stones with low MOHs hardness.
*Reversible pendant decoration
*Using the shape of the cabochon as inspiration.
*Using the pattern of the cabochon to tell a story or to create a themed piece.
*Finding inspiration without copying someone else.
*Incorporating/developing your signature style but maintaining the OOAK feel
*Statement pieces as part of a collection or series.
*Accent stones - Do you need another stone to tell the story.
*Making the bail an integral part of the piece and not an afterthought
*Determining the metalsmithing techniques used for the piece design and fabrication steps
*What metals to use in your design.
*Knowing when to wait until you learn a technique to make the piece or to alter design and use another technique
*Use of a design worksheet for documenting your work and for ordering supplies.
Sources for designer stones and rough material will also be discussed.
"I learned a way to use both sides of my brain. This has been a problem in the past because I would try to go back and forth. This class taught me how to 'think on paper' (left side) and then at the bench I can let the right brain flow! : )" - Patti K.