Monday, May 28, 2012

The sorry story of the amethyst - and why I had to dump her.

Terrible things have been happening in the studio. Things that had me thinking I should give up, walk out, and never go back.

I can't tell you what happened. It's a mystery even to me. Yes, I have my suspicions but until I am a more experienced jewelry maker I will have to wait to confirm them.

I'll tell you this for nothing ... I wont be buying any more amethyst for a while.

I didn't like the stone to begin with. It was too big, too uneven, and it had a scratch on the front, (yes, a scratch), a clue to the outcome right there ... but, I had promised it to a friend for her birthday. (Another clue, never promise anything ...).

I suppose really this should be a story about going with your gut and stop being so stubborn, but I'm still too annoyed with the whole thing to admit it.

Long story short. I soldered that @^&@$* piece probably eleven times. I knew it wasn't going to fuse, each and every time I did it. So, why, for the love of God people, did I continue, time and time and time again! We might never know.

I finally abandoned the piece, but not the stone. No, I took out some more silver and started again, determined to make this pendant work, because now it was a fight to the end.

This is when I fell into despair. 

Remarkably, however, even then I continued. I even took it to an international level, calling my dad in England for advice and to vent my theories. Dad's not a jeweler but even that didn't deter me from my crazed path for answers.

The madness continued. I went to my daughter's graduation thinking the break would be the answer. I would come back refreshed and with new skills that would enable me to finish the task.


I did finally finish the piece, by which time I hated it. It's big. It's ugly, I had to put prongs over the scratches. It's used up more silver than I care to admit. But! I won! (I think.)

My friend wont be getting it for her birthday.
In fact, I am going to take it to pieces and reclaim the silver the first chance I get - that will teach it to mess with me ...

As for my friend, I bought another stone. Purple because that's her favourite colour. Sugilite - because amethyst is now banned from my studio.

I hope she likes it because it's the last birthday present she'll be getting ... joking jules :)

I read on a jeweler's blog once (wish I could find it) that when she had fought with a piece and finally ruined it, her husband told her that she should then, not only make it again, but make it twice. I kind of like that, it fits right in with my stubborn streak. I'm not quite fully recovered to fight with the amethyst again, just yet, but, here are a few other pieces that I managed after got back on the bike, so to speak.

Take that amethyst! Mwaahaahaa ...


  1. Funny! I sympathize with things not working out - I also recently had to tear apart a piece several times, but at least it wasn't silver! ;)

  2. i know! that was the real bummer. but, of course, i plodded on, and on and on.

  3. I'm sorry it didn't turn out how you wanted. The bottom two pieces are gorgeous!

  4. "Poor Baby!" Now, that said....I'm so proud of you for being so determined but I, too, believe it was the "stone" not the hang in there, my friend, you are very talented and you always give it your very best! And the other new pieces are lovely!