Get to Know
Many years ago, I took a class at a junior college where we learned soldering and cast one item. I still have the silver ring I made back then and I wear it during the Christmas holidays.
After that, I purchased a used rock cutting machine (it had 2 silicon carbide wheels for cutting) and using the book Gem Cutting by John Sinkankas, I taught myself how to cut cabochons. A couple years after that, I purchased an MDR Faceting machine and taught myself faceting.
I purchased rough material at gem shows, through ads in the Lapidary Journal and gathered quite a bit myself from the high and low desert.
Once I had cut some stones, I purchased a steam casting kit for 50 dollars and started casting settings for my stones.
That used cabochon machine is long gone and now I have a Genie with better (much!) cutting wheels.
In August 2008, I took a weekend silversmithing class to relearn what I had forgotten about soldering from that class all those years ago. I started making bezel set pendants and since they needed chains, this led me to making chains, then earrings, bracelets and anklets. As I write this in October 2011, I have quite a few items that I have made and my wife can only wear so much jewelry.....
Though I still cut stones occasionally, most of the items I have for sale do not have stones, although some of the earrings incorporate beads.
In April 2014, I purchased another torch, a couple books and some glass rods to teach myself how to make glass beads. Working with glass has a much steeper learning curve than working with silver. There are many ways to go with glass besides beads; small blown glass bud vases, fish, turtles, hearts, gremlins, etc.
I hope you enjoy perusing what I have for sale.