cousin marlene’s pendant

rendering of opal and diamond brooch

This project started as a big batch of broken and un-loved jewelry with a lot of decent stones in it. So, I pulled all stones and sent the metal into the refiner. Then I went about designing a new piece using up all the old stones. At first the idea was maybe a brooch..

rendering of opal and diamond brooch

But then it changed to maybe a pendant.. A butterfly maybe?

rendering of opal and diamond butterfly pendant

No, too much; the butterfly pendant was way too fancy. We needed more everyday wearable—like only 20 diamonds and a handful of opals can be..

rendering of opal and diamond butterfly pendant

Every-day wearable. And still cool. Check.

wax of opal and diamond butterfly pendant

The wax of the piece. I proposed to carve the wax base for the diamonds and build/solder on the bezels for the opals. Because my last experiment with bezel-setting in gold using 14K was painful, I decided to go easy on myself and use 22K bezels. Opals are soft stones, and 22K is a dream.

18K cast of opal and diamond mandala pendant

The piece freshly cast into 18K gold (+ a little bit of polishing). There is a lot of gold here.

18K cast of opal and diamond mandala pendant

The bottom is cool.

18K yellow gold opal and diamond mandala pendant

Et voila! The finished pendant.

18K yellow gold opal and diamond mandala pendant

Soldering on all the tiny bezels was not super easy. I spent a lot of tedious hours making the bezels seamless on the piece and sanding/polishing between the little spokes, all the while listening to Dan Savage’s podcast. Now I know a lot about people who have sexual fetishes for snorting things up their noses (like gummy bears).. or outie belly buttons. I like to think I’m a richer person because of this.

That middle diamond, for size reference, is 5mm in diameter. And all those little diamonds are 1 point freaking 3 mm in diameter (cough cough). (Mine eyes..)

back of 18K yellow gold opal and diamond mandala pendant

The finished back. I like how the center stone pokes down so starkly and pointily on a back that is all soft curves and swoops.

5 Responses to “cousin marlene’s pendant”

  1. Melissa says:

    I know I say this about everything you create, but this is amazingly gorgeous!

  2. Peg Bowden says:

    OMG—-cuzzin Marlene will have to hire a bodyguard when she steps out for the evening. She will be thrilled. This piece is worthy of a gala opening at the opera or the Oscar’s. You did it again….and I am bedazzled. –yo Mama

  3. jeff c says:

    Wow Peg said it all
    very beautiful
    jeff

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Cheyenne,

    Your process is what’s so incredible! You are amazing!

  5. Dana says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing your creative process on this one! Really beautiful!

Leave a Comment