A friend was over while I was drawing ideas for this piece. Once I got it right, she said it reminded her of a fox. So that's what I named it.
Here's the drawing phase.
I started with the larger stone. These stones are Brazilian agate with a garnet accent. I got them when I was out in Taos, New Mexico. My favorite lapidary artist lives there. I'll see him again at the end of the month when I get to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
This one was complicated for two reasons. First, the stone is large - large stones are always harder to set because the bezels like to shift when you solder them onto the silver back. Second, I wanted to leave the upper right side open. That means the bezel is open and is even more likely to shift.
Once I got that bezel ready, I had the other two stones to work on. These are a little easier, but they still have to fit nearly perfectly (like within a millimeter).
Next I soldered the bezel to the sterling back. This is before the fire.
Then I trim and sand the silver to make clean settings. I didn't want extra silver around any of these stones.
Here's the piece after final soldering. I propped it up on titanium to get the bail soldered on exactly where I wanted it. It always looks really bad right after firing.
I toss it in the pickle pot. Pickle is a hot solution that removes the flux, which you see here as all the grey and brown gunk.
I polish the piece then set the stones. After the stones are set, I do a final polish.
And there you go. A foxy piece.