More commissions and orders done- yay!. And now I can focus on the 2 trickier commissions that are at the top of the list. :)
I was making a variant on one of my Trinket Rings designs today, in some spare moments, and it was pretty much done except for setting the stone and the final polish... and the stupid drill bit broke off when I was drilling the hole for the setting, so I had to take it all apart again to get the end part of the bit OUT. Annoying! But now it's ready to get put back together again.
It is my considered opinion now that the technique described in "Jewelry Artist" for making tapered bezels simply does not work for small ones using 18-ga. metal... and if it doesn't work for silver, I'm sure glad I didn't try it with Pd, as was the idea! I've now tried twice to make the bezel for a 3.4mm sapphire that way- and it just doesn't. Maybe it would had I lots of experience, of course. Looking at the picture of tapping the u-shaped strip into the bezel block, though, it looks like the strip for a much bigger stone, or using a thinner sheet than 1mm. I'm going to try again, this time with a bezel for a 6.5mm garnet, and see if that works better. Meanwhile, I have 2 other techniques that work for me for making smaller tapered bezels, and I'll use one or the other of them for that sapphire; I really have my heart set on putting that puppy into a pretty ring, and silver is perfect for it. Silver won't be bad for the garnet, either- it's a REALLY dark one, the sort that almost looks black until it flashes pure deep RED at you, and silver will set it off nicely (if the technique works! if not, I expect I'll put that stone away again, since I don't really have my heart set on making it into a ring.).
I think I am going to use my next few metals orders to acquire some stock of an assortment of the metals I work with, to make into sample rings that I keep on hand. I'll start with the white ones, since that's what people are mostly interested in now, plus there are more varieties of them than any other colors.