The Cussedness of the Universe weighed in today in the studio. Nonetheless, I did get done pretty much what I'd aspired to getting done.
The goal: to finish soldering the setting for the cloisonne smiley. Done. Yes, done. The trick was binding wire. I'm not really convinced that its holding power was enough to make such a huge difference, but its presence did seem to discourage the obnoxiousness that the piece had displayed previously. So I got the second "ribbon" soldered on, reamed out holes for the 2 sapphire settings, got them soldered in, and added the bail. Yay! And while I'd hoped to get the whole thing cleaned up enough to go into the tumbler, I didn't quite make that... but i did get most of it cleaned up during the whole process, so it's not that far away from the goal.
Tomorrow: finish cleaning up. Tumble. Set the stones.
I also got some good work done on the plique smiley's add-ons. The diamond is set. The seat for the sapphire is cut, and i can set the stone any time.
This latter was not trivial. Yes, it should have been! I had embedded the settings into setters' cement previously to hold them in place and support them. And the black diamond setting went wonderfully well. But the sapphire?
Well, first off, the sapphire I'd chosen as a good color match for the plique was barely bigger than the hole in the tubing I was using for the setting. It was a wee bit bigger, though, so I proceeded. I cut a seat, tried the stone in it and it fit... but it wouldn't come out again with wax on a stick, so I bent a piece of wire and poked it out from the back. Woe! it FLEW through the air, I felt it hit my head, and then it vanished. I spent 15-20 min. looking for it before I gave up, and didn't find it. (Although I did find a CZ I'd lost previously...) So, because I didn't really have time to spend looking for a stone that I probably wouldn't find, and since the stone didn't really fit the setting decently anyway, I found a replacement stone. The color isn't quite as nice, but it fits the setting better and will look fine. And the seat for it is now cut, and I'll set it tomorrow.
And that was most of the day's work. I wish I'd gotten more done, but I'm still on track.