My feeling today after having wasted an entire day at the bench on a project I never wanted to do in the first place:

Watercolor and Gouache "Frustration" Earring Design by Joana Miranda

I’ve been working for several weeks on a “commission.”  I took it on because I felt I didn’t have a choice; for many reasons, it was the last thing I wanted to do.  When I started construction on the piece, I used the thinnest gauge metal sheet for the bezel (the collar of metal that surrounds a stone) that I had on hand since I didn’t want to have to order more metal.  However, as I proceeded, I had a nagging worry that the bezel wall would be too thick to easily bend over the stone.

Today after finishing all of the soldering and putting the final touches on the polishing, I went to set the stone and discovered that the bezel was, in fact, too thick to bend well over the stone.  So after cutting out the stone (and, in the process destroying the whole bezel), and cutting my finger on some jagged metal, I’m back to square one with this piece.  In fact, I’m back to square negative one, since I actually have to order the different gauge of sheet metal.

So what have I learned?

1. 24 gauge sheet metal is way too thick for a bezel.

2. Trust your instincts…research or call someone wiser for advice if you have doubts about the construction of an element in your piece.

AND, most importantly…

3. You always have a choice.  Even though this commission was presented to me as a command, I could have been politely firm back and explained that I don’t do this type of work.

So, although I’ve wasted my entire Saturday, I’ve learned some valuable information both about bench technique and about myself.


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