have finally finished am still working on my micro mosaic necklace. (See what happens when I write drafts? They don’t come true.)
I was really bent on getting it right after my problems with the mosaic ring, so I took my time on it. I’ve got a lot to say about the epoxy and beads and glue, but for today let’s just get to the silver.
The setting, with the first of many rejected mosaic designs.
This whole thing started out as something completely different.
Last year I made a square wire setting for this stone, taking care to make nice corner cuts to get 90 degree angles. Eventually I realized how poorly cut some of the facets on the face of this stone were, and that a simple setting would only enhance that problem, so I abandoned the idea.
This left me with a rectangle I could do whatever I wanted with. And after I made that mosaic ring last month and wanted to do a better mosaic project, I turned to that idea again.
On the first day of class this year, I put a back on it. At home, with my new flex shaft, I was able to (relatively) easily grind away the excess and clean up the edges, which was fun.
Now for tricky business: getting 3/4 jump rings on the corners to attach to chain, and then soldering the jump rings between the corner pieces and the chain pieces (not to mention the jump rings on the clasp parts.) I was terrified of this, but Bob helped me through it. The corner pieces were no problem (yay! I can control fire now!) and the rest was fairly simple through the use of super easy paste solder. Now, I’ve been leery of super easy ever since I was taught that it contains cadmium. Well, yes and no. It used to be manufactured that way; these days you can find it without. Anyway, I used very, very little. Bob taught me a neat trick for protecting the chain during this. In the old days, he’d just throw a piece of asbestos (!) over it, but now you can put a piece of honeycomb fire brick on top to keep it relatively cool. Whatever, I didn’t melt a thing, which I consider a personal triumph.
So, I shined everything up, and was left with the hardest part of all. What to put in there.
Does that top one look like a branch of cherry blossoms to you? Didn’t think so.
These are some design ideas. My earliest design was an abstract pattern of waves in turquoise blue and vermilion, but that really just looked like a colorblindness test, so I scrapped it. Next, I’d have liked to put a cherry blossom branch across it, but I couldn’t get it to work. It just didn’t register as what I wanted it to. More abstract designs and frustration followed. You’ll note I tried to work these patterns out on a piece of tape, taped to a piece of paper (very nice for keeping the beads in place.) Nothing worked until I tried out a landscape with a setting sun over the sea. That wasn’t bad, it registered as a simple landscape, and seemed perfectly do-able. So I did it (carefully!), put in the grout, aaaaand instantly regretted it.
Here’s the problem: Japanese seed beads. They’re too perfect, all the same size and shape. Great for certain types of bead stitching, but not at all visually interesting for a mosaic. If you get them too close together, it’s a problem. If you space them out enough, they look too spaced out. I do have some Czech seed beads that looked good, but they were a bit too large. What I really need to do is get down to the bead shop and buy some teeny-tinies and do this right.
But first: how do I get that mosaic out of there? It’s actually not that hard.
I’ll talk about it next time.