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I guess there’s a name for agates like this, but I don’t know it. The stone was cut in India but may have come from anywhere – it’s a global world.

Variegated agate

Variegated agate

I have opted for a setting that is in conversation with the stone. What I wanted was the impression of a seaside rock pool. It was carved in wax and cast by the lost-wax process.

Pendant: silver, variegated agate

Pendant: silver, variegated agate

Pendant: silver, variegated agate

Pendant: silver, variegated agate

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I carved this moon face from a turquoise cab that I bought. It looks like Iranian turquoise. The dealer got it in India.

I thought it would be nice for a blue moon. I carved the face using diamond bits that I cadged off the dentist, and polished it with diamond gel on felt buffs and bamboo points. I carved the ring in wax and had it cast.

More carved faces here.

This ring is an experiment at combining wax impressions into a carving. First I carved a bee seal and took six impressions. Then I cut a ring out of wax with six matched gaps, and fused the bees into place. It produces a very comfortable and quite striking ring. It’s a large size, intended as a man’s ring.

Hexagonal Bee Ring: silver

Hexagonal Bee Ring: silver

Hexagonal Bee Ring: silver

Hexagonal Bee Ring: silver (actual size)

I got these big stones from Vadim, a local stone dealer – the blue lace agate he found in the Northern Cape and took to India for cutting. The Turquoise is an old bead that has been halved.

I decided to use classical themes. Each of the agates presented itself as an imago mundi, and needed oceanic dolphins and a sky angel. Renaissance formalised dolphins are so weird. Angels are pretty weird when you think about them, too.

Pendant: Angel: Silver & blue lace agate

Pendant: Angel: Silver & blue lace agate

Pendant: Dolphins: Silver & blue lace agate

Pendant: Dolphins: Silver & blue lace agate

Pendant: Scarab: Silver & Turquoise

Pendant: Scarab: Silver & Turquoise

The turquoise immediately suggested a scarab. But I was loath to cut into the stone – it is so fat and beautiful just on its own. So I gave it a scarab anyway – probably in violation of some ancient Egyptian convention.

This pink stone seemed to want a little Eros sitting on it, so I have carved this in blue wax. The wax will be cast as silver.

Putto. Pink opal, wax.

 

The stone is a pink opal. When I’ve had it cast, I’ll post another pic. There’ll be quite a bit more finishing. Here’s the actual size:

Putto. Pink opal, wax.

 

A friend wanted a bangle to go with a garnet pearl clasp at her son’s wedding. I made this – carved in wax, then cast by lost-wax casting. I wanted something which would reference both a ring and a watch, as well as suggesting a container or separated space, which could hold anything (magic).

Bangle: Silver, garnet.

Bangle: Silver, garnet.

I made some rings as follows:

I had a lot of scrap wax, so I melted some into those aluminium containers that “tea light” candles come in. When the wax had set, I heated the tip of a tapered mandrel, and melted it into the center of the wax. Clamp the mandrel with its wax in the chuck of a flexible-shaft drill, and you have a little lathe – various tools – burins, files, little chisels – can be brought up to the spinning wax.

I turned the blanks – 2 framing ridges on the sides and a smooth curving blank in the middle, then decorated the middle sections – with engraving, carving and adding small blobs of wax.

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