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when is free form a good idea?

digdeep

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OK I thought about adding this to Jordy's thread but decided this stone can't compete with sapphires. Background: Over the weekend I went to a Gem Club show in a nearby urban area. Having only gone to small shows in the past, I was surprised with everything that was there. I enjoyed looking at cabochons because I have done wire wrapping in the past, but then realized........I still have unwrapped cab's so don't NEED more of them!
However, while grazing through many of the vendors 'stuff' I found a small bag of Chrysoprase. I had not seen it before and started going through the pieces that were for sale. The color range was from light green to the one pictured which was the darkest color. The color is deceptive as it actually has a blue tint to the green, but that seems to disappear in direct sun. Also, the picture was taken on white paper so I don't know why it turned a shade of blue? Anyway, my main point is that this stuff feels like wax! It is so fun to hold and touch due to the 'gentle' feel. I bought this piece thinking I'd have a lapidary cut it down for a cabochon, but the more I look at it and the more I touch it I'm starting to think it just needs some smoothing of the sharp corners and a hole and I'm good to go. That may well be what I decide to do, but thought I"d share this here and see if others who know more about Chyrsoprase can share their experiences. I do love the color which is what sold me initially.........but like I said, the texture is so amazingly soft to the touch for a hard stone!

2016-03-22_002_2016-03-22_002.jpg
 

jordyonbass

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Phwooaaarrrr what a beauty digdeep!!! You should have posted it in the thread, I am happy for other people to give their experiences or ask questions as it helps me learn as well!!

Regarding this piece, I would have probably marked it out to cab it as it's a nicely-shaped slab of rough with even color throughout, very versatile. Free-form cabbing only appeals to me if there is a particular part of the rough that you want to have facing up (like opal) or if you have a very expensive material that you don't want to waste. Although free-form/baroque shapes are common in Opals I am just not a fan. I would look to cut a symmetrical stone 99.9% of the time :snooty:

Looks like a visit to the local lapidary club is definitely on the cards for you :naughty:
 

digdeep

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Thanks Jordy........it's good to hear your comments and they are where I was when I bought the stone--in fact that was my goal when I bought it. I guess I'm very tactile and that darn stone has a 'touch' that I haven't experienced before. I did talk to someone who could do the cab work and we discussed this but he also said 50% loss (according to his calc's) and that spooked me --not because it's too high for cutting the cab, but again after touching this gem it has an amazing 'feel' and I think I want to wear it rather than mount it in a setting. The stone isn't real big.....it's 18 x 13 x 11 so it isn't a huge piece to start with. I know other stones can carry body heat but this is more than that......it is the texture and 'feel'. Anyone else know what I'm talking about or am I sounding a little looney? :roll:
 

aussiejamie

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I agree with you digdeep that chrysoprase does have a nice feel to it! If you like the shape of it and it is for you, then I think you should just get it touched up a bit and wear it like you said. If it was to sell, then I think Jordy is right. Jewellery is a very personal thing imo and if that is what you like and it is your stone, do what the stone tells you to do. Sounds to me like you love it just as it is and a good thing is that if it just touched up and you don't like it you can always then cabochon the stone. You can't cabochon then go back to its original shape!
 

Lady_Disdain

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Please don't drill it :((

Why not set it as is (or minus the sharp edges you mentioned)? You could do a collar style bezel for a pendant, so it hangs against your skin, or a very low, open back ring, so the stone touches your finger. It is wide enough that edges could be built into the curvature, leaving the center in contact with your skin.
 

jordyonbass

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I wouldn't be too spooked about the 50% number, I grind away about that much when I do my cabochons (if not more than that). Obviously you will lose less with a baroque shape, but I am a sucker for symmetry so I would sacrifice weight for symmetry when cutting something like this beautiful Chrysoprase. I have Ol' Pinky to cab next at my lapidary club and I am picking that I am going to lose more than 50% despite it being close to a cabochon shape already. It's 19.62cts and if I get 10 back I will be absolutely ecstatic.

P.s. I see a gorgeous sugarloaf cab in this stone as a good compromise, possibly even a teardrop shape. A sugarloaf cab shape is very close to the shape of this stone so minimal would need to be removed (giving you the weight retention) but it will also have that symmetry ;))
 

digdeep

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Thanks all, for the info, feedback, and idea's. Aussiejamie I'm glad you know the 'feel' I was talking about.

I think my 'plan' is on hold. I was told by the lapidary person that a hole would need a 'foredom tool' or diamond drill and it didn't sound like those are common? I haven't clarified this yet. So Lady Disdain, it may not get a hole after all! I appreciate all comments because they help me stop and look at it from a new perspective. I didn't even think of a sugarloaf cab which certainly would have some advantages............ Does anyone know if it can be carved or if there are people that can do that without making it look like a figure used commercially? It's a blocky piece, but if I can't get a hole drilled, I don't think it will get carved! LOL!!
 

Lady_Disdain

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I hate to say this, but a hollow core diamond drill is quite easy to buy and there are plenty of tutorials online for drilling stones. I believe you could do this yourself if you like (practice on other stones first!).

http://www.eternaltools.com/blog/how-to-drill-pebbles
https://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog_post/PebblesatmyFeet/9785/how_i_drill_holes_in_tumbled_stones_for_my_handcrafted_jewelry (the setup here is more elaborate than strictly needed)
http://www.eternaltools.com/blog/how-to-drill-pebbles

However, if you decide to have the stone cabbed later, you will lose a lot more material, since the drilled area will have to be cut off.

Maybe a simple wire wrap to hold it? It could be removed later if you decide to have it cabbed or drilled.
 

mastercutgems

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Hi All :)

I have drilled a lot of shells and inexpensive pieces but I do not think it suits a nice piece of material like that one. It is like when I see a 1860 1 dollar gold piece that is MS63 and has a hole drilled in it :( Makes you want to cry...

In any case the idea of Lady D of wire wrapping is a good one as I have seen some that look very art deco period in sterling silver that is almost filigree and not clunky and primitive looking. But that gem has a lovely color and shape and reminds me of what they used to call Imperial Chrysoprase as it had such a rich chromium green color. I think it on a white metal would pop; but all this is just my opinion.

The tapered square cut looks neat also and you will lose minimal surface area; high to medium high dome and have the wide part of the taper to the bottom will look neat as a ring or pendant.

Most respectfully;

Dana Reynolds
ASG Certified
Supreme Master Gem Cutter
#96CGE42
 

digdeep

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Once again this is so helpful! The lap person didn't say the drills for the hole were hard to find, I assumed this because they were brought up specifically so I'm glad to read your comment L-D! I would not try it on this stone without a year's practice...... :wall: OTOH, those cabs I have waiting in the box could use a hole as a 'short cut'........lol!!

Confession time: I picked this stone up for little more than a song.......so the comments about expensive material surprised me. I had googled it but Google lists aren't the best way to learn about colored stones! So, that will now play into my decisions........now to google 'imperial chrysoprase', thanks Dana for your comment!

Please keep the different perspectives, information, and opinions coming........it is SO helpful!! I will play with some wire today and see if I can come up with a design that will work for right now without changing anything on the stone.......because clearly I don't want to rush this decision with what I have learned. Thanks everyone!!
 

jordyonbass

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mastercutgems|1458742442|4009805 said:
Hi All :)

I have drilled a lot of shells and inexpensive pieces but I do not think it suits a nice piece of material like that one. It is like when I see a 1860 1 dollar gold piece that is MS63 and has a hole drilled in it :( Makes you want to cry...

In any case the idea of Lady D of wire wrapping is a good one as I have seen some that look very art deco period in sterling silver that is almost filigree and not clunky and primitive looking. But that gem has a lovely color and shape and reminds me of what they used to call Imperial Chrysoprase as it had such a rich chromium green color. I think it on a white metal would pop; but all this is just my opinion.

The tapered square cut looks neat also and you will lose minimal surface area; high to medium high dome and have the wide part of the taper to the bottom will look neat as a ring or pendant.

Most respectfully;

Dana Reynolds
ASG Certified
Supreme Master Gem Cutter
#96CGE42
Interesting that wire wrapping is mentioned, Mrs Jordy has been doing the same thing with our cabochons. Would you or Lady D happen to know of a relatively cheap wire for practicing the wire wrapping? Or should I stop being so tight with money and just buy a whole lot of Sterling Silver wire? :think:
 

digdeep

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Jordy......... Does she know anyone who does wire wrapping classes? Classes are a great way to go through it step by step---and she can learn about the different wire attributes that way too. And, if she hooks up with someone who is doing wire wrapping that person may be able to buy the wire at discount and pass on savings to her. The last person I worked with did that and every time she hit a certain volume (from the people that had taken the class) it discounted the wire price for all of us! I'd say silver is the best for anyone serious about wrapping.
 

jordyonbass

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digdeep|1458764982|4010029 said:
Jordy......... Does she know anyone who does wire wrapping classes? Classes are a great way to go through it step by step---and she can learn about the different wire attributes that way too. And, if she hooks up with someone who is doing wire wrapping that person may be able to buy the wire at discount and pass on savings to her. The last person I worked with did that and every time she hit a certain volume (from the people that had taken the class) it discounted the wire price for all of us! I'd say silver is the best for anyone serious about wrapping.
Our lapidary club does have classes on wrapping but they haven't started the class just yet (along with the faceting course I am waiting on), I think they are a little slow with getting the classes going after the xmas break. Next time we are in there we might have to ask if they do ordering for the club members or something like that. I'd say we will probably have to look at splashing out and buying a lot in bulk, we're paying for it by the meter and it gets quite expensive! :errrr:
 

Lady_Disdain

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jordyonbass|1458765713|4010035 said:
digdeep|1458764982|4010029 said:
Jordy......... Does she know anyone who does wire wrapping classes? Classes are a great way to go through it step by step---and she can learn about the different wire attributes that way too. And, if she hooks up with someone who is doing wire wrapping that person may be able to buy the wire at discount and pass on savings to her. The last person I worked with did that and every time she hit a certain volume (from the people that had taken the class) it discounted the wire price for all of us! I'd say silver is the best for anyone serious about wrapping.
Our lapidary club does have classes on wrapping but they haven't started the class just yet (along with the faceting course I am waiting on), I think they are a little slow with getting the classes going after the xmas break. Next time we are in there we might have to ask if they do ordering for the club members or something like that. I'd say we will probably have to look at splashing out and buying a lot in bulk, we're paying for it by the meter and it gets quite expensive! :errrr:
A little slow? It is only almost April. People have such high expectations :bigsmile:

There are a lot of wire wrapping resources online and a ton of good books as well. I am not a wire wrapper, so I can't really recommend one but there is bound to be one that is mentioned often in tutorials and sites. Other than that, I would order two or three gauges of copper wire and start experimenting. Copper is cheap (about $4-5 dollars for a 4 ounce spool, which is a lot) and it isn't very different from working with silver or gold. Just remember to get dead soft. The cost is low enough that I would just go right ahead, instead of waiting. But, then again, waiting has never been my strong suit.

Once you are confident, move on to working with silver (or gold).
 

jordyonbass

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Lady_Disdain|1458784490|4010162 said:
jordyonbass|1458765713|4010035 said:
digdeep|1458764982|4010029 said:
Jordy......... Does she know anyone who does wire wrapping classes? Classes are a great way to go through it step by step---and she can learn about the different wire attributes that way too. And, if she hooks up with someone who is doing wire wrapping that person may be able to buy the wire at discount and pass on savings to her. The last person I worked with did that and every time she hit a certain volume (from the people that had taken the class) it discounted the wire price for all of us! I'd say silver is the best for anyone serious about wrapping.
Our lapidary club does have classes on wrapping but they haven't started the class just yet (along with the faceting course I am waiting on), I think they are a little slow with getting the classes going after the xmas break. Next time we are in there we might have to ask if they do ordering for the club members or something like that. I'd say we will probably have to look at splashing out and buying a lot in bulk, we're paying for it by the meter and it gets quite expensive! :errrr:
A little slow? It is only almost April. People have such high expectations :bigsmile:

There are a lot of wire wrapping resources online and a ton of good books as well. I am not a wire wrapper, so I can't really recommend one but there is bound to be one that is mentioned often in tutorials and sites. Other than that, I would order two or three gauges of copper wire and start experimenting. Copper is cheap (about $4-5 dollars for a 4 ounce spool, which is a lot) and it isn't very different from working with silver or gold. Just remember to get dead soft. The cost is low enough that I would just go right ahead, instead of waiting. But, then again, waiting has never been my strong suit.

Once you are confident, move on to working with silver (or gold).
Haha I know right?! Mind you they had a big break over xmas and didn't re-open until last month, I would say that the retirees on the committee are in permanent holiday mode :lol:

I didn't even think about copper wire once, I wonder how it would look with a green like this Chrysoprase or Malachite. Thanks heaps for the pointer on copper wire :wavey:
 

digdeep

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Make sure you get dead soft wire............so true! Also, check that the wire is pure copper or has other metals in it so you know if there are any skin reactions.
 

digdeep

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First off, thank you to everyone that chimed in on the stone I purchased. What started as I 'like the color' and turned into "I really like the feel" ended up being.......just leave it alone! I hadn't considered wrapping it until mentioned here (thank you L-D!) but dragged stuff out and tried to do it justice.....as it was asymmetrical it was a challenge, but I put other shapes in to help with my own version of symmetrical balance. It will stay this way until, and if, I figure out what to do with it. It looks so gorgeous when suspended with back light.....maybe I need to put it on a pull for a shade?? LOL! Again......thanks to all for the support and information shared!! :appl:

2016-03-24_001_2016-03-24_008__600x800_.jpg
 

digdeep

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Above photo was the back.......but more of the stone. Here it is in 'regular' light that turns white paper blue!!

2016-03-24_001_2016-03-24_002__600x800_.jpg
 

jordyonbass

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I'm going to show this to my wife once she's awake for some ideas for her own work if you don't mind, are those beads Malachite?
 

digdeep

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Yes, the beads are malachite..........and feel free to share this with your wife! Happy Wrapping!
 
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