This week's challenge piece is a rock crystal wand set into a fine silver mount. It has three 2mm lab rubies around the top of the mount and a 3mm lab ruby cabochon in the front.
I bought this crystal wand about 3 years ago and there are some really attractive inclusions in it. As ever I had great plans for it and started to make a mount for it using Art Clay Silver. I soon realised my idea would not work so gave up, and there it sat.
So, of course, the wand went onto my challenge list for this year!! In my mind I decided I was going to use snakes of silver, but would make a plain base first to add them onto. As you can see that all changed once I started creating!! This piece was very much designed on the hoof! :)
In this photo you can see the inclusions quite well.
I find it all rather fascinating. To my eyes the inclusions appear as a flat pattern, but as you turn it they always look more or less the same.
Part of the challenge of this was that whilst the wand looks like quite an even cut in the photos it is in fact quite skew-whiff so I had to take care to get the decoration on the mount in the right places. The mount is not a symmetrical shape at all!
I fired the mount and set the wand into it after it was polished and patinated.
All the while I was making this I felt it had a regal look to it. I really love the medieval period and I think a bit of the essence of that has gotten into this piece. When I posted this onto Facebook a couple of people mentioned the Knights of the Round Table as well :) I'm delighted it has that kind of look to it.
One thing I did learn was that photographing rock crystal is not easy!! I think I took about 80 shots to find the ones that worked. Thank goodness for digital cameras!! :)
The back of the mount has my little Joy logo on it.
Finally I made a beaten silver ring to hang it from...
...and after taking all the photos and sorting out the ones to use I realised I had forgotten to patinate the ring!!! So there it is, the ring and chain still need a patina to make them look a bit more antique and match the rest of the piece!!
I will do that before it goes to a new home!!!
Now to think about my next challenge piece. Normally I am already thinking one week ahead, but this week I have not decided, so I'm off to consult that list again!