Given a choice between housekeeping and metalwork, I chose metals. And I'm glad I did!
I've been working on an experimental Confetti Ring (#4). This is one I made out of argentium sterling silver: an alloy that is harder (when properly treated) and has tarnish-resistant properties that I thought would be advantageous, especially in a ring. The problem is, though, that the stones I want to use won't stand up to the hardening temperatures, so that means either forgoing the hardening, or setting them in hardened metal. Ands they are relatively delicate stones- not sapphires and diamonds, but citrines, peridots, and the like.
I'm trying the latter approach- since a hardened ring would be such a benefit. And it's going OK. I'm definitely needing more hand strength to set in the hardened argentium sterling than I would in regular sterling- but it's probably similar to the same task in 14k gold, so that's not unreasonable. And after setting more than 7 stones, I've gotten much better, too! I've been focusing on some of the more fragile stones, and to good effect.
So I think this is a successful experiment. I have 2 more bespoke confetti-type rings to do on commission- one's a straight confetti but with a personal selection of stones, and the other is a confetti version of my "regards" ring, with the letters spelled out in gemstones. I am now feeling comfortable about doing both of these in hardened argentium sterling.