The Labradorite Apprenticeship

Today's post is about teeth-grinding, late night, mind-bending, stomach-knotting persistence.

As you know, I take the odd jewellery commission. I was contacted by a friend in Norway who had ordered a beautiful piece of labradorite, and she wanted it sent directly to me to make it into a pendant for her, to go with a chain she already has. I've never done that before, so of course I said - Of Course! And so it plopped onto my doormat.

Looked at one way, it looks okay.

Looked at another, it is glorious, and it was instantly clear which way up it had to lie.

I sat down with my little yellow sketchbook, carefully considered this special piece which made me think somehow of gentle rolling waves, and this is what fell out of my pencil. She loved it.

Well. I've done some cabachon work, and I've done some soldering work, and I've never used a MASSIVE cabachon and I've never had to manage twelve solder points at once. I have four hardnesses of solder, and it was still a huge ask to reheat a piece multiple times without any of the delicate wirework distorting or the joints...well, becoming less jointy, shall we say.

This did not work.

This did not work.

This was starting to work...

It. Took. Me. Weeks. It took five attempts. It took no little help from Paul, who had not reached the Poke Me In The Eyeballs With Chopsticks stage and brought me wine and made me eat food.

And then one day, it was finally done. Actually done.

I paid extra for tracked postage to Norway 'cos, y'know, Weeks. Whoohoo! Until I got the message about how, um, it hasn't arrived, when did you send it exactly?

It's okay, there's a happy ending. It arrived. My friend called it (and I quote)


So I'll be off to have a piece of cake now.

Have a lovely evening...and Never Give Up!

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