Halstead Logo
$100 min US & CA · $250 min International
Daily Market: Gold: $1515.20 · Silver: $18.04

Richard Salley: How the Light Gets In Jewelry Interview

Richard Salley explores a recent jewelry design that incorporated a broken stone that might have otherwise been discarded, a trash to treasure inspiration.

This week, read our interview with jewelry artist Richard Salley about a beautiful example of bezel-setting a cracked stone that might otherwise have been discarded.

We love this pendant by Richard Salley featuring a Leonard Cohen quote:"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." It's such a beautiful sentiment and the design is a great example of bezel-setting a cracked stone that might otherwise have been discarded.

We caught up with Richard to ask about the inspiration and techniques behind the piece:

Q. Which came first, the quote or the broken stone?

A. The stone was given to me by Gary Wilson in the cracked condition. I think he gave it to me because I had done another piece with a cracked stone. The quote from a song by Leonard Cohen seemed appropriate for the piece and does speak to the notion that imperfection can have its own charm...so little in the world is truly perfect. I do think that accidents can inspire creativity because they can take us in directions we would not have otherwise chosen.

Q. What technique did you use to print the quote onto metal? Did you use a special tool to make the texture around the outside?

A. The quote was etched using ferric nitrate. It was first printed on a laser printer and transferred to the metal for etching. The texture around the outside of the pendant was done with a graver, using an engraving technique called "wriggling"...basically rocking the graver back and forth while moving ahead.

Q. We especially love the way you placed a gold-filled tube bezel and CZ loose stone in the open space. Do you have any tips for mixing metals and/or working with CZs?

A. Because of the expense, I don't use much gold. But a little accent like a tube bezel adds value and interest at very little expense. CZs are very affordable, come in a variety of colors and tolerate heat very well. A great way to add a little bling to a piece.

Jewelry Materials:

Richard used the following materials from Halstead in this design:

  • GF5024 14/20 gold-filled 4mm tube bezel with seat
  • CZ40J 4mm AAA black round CZ
  • SWG144 sterling silver 22-gauge gallery wire
  • SWS22 sterling silver 22-gauge sheet
  • and we used bails to hang it from one of our sterling silver neck collars.

Shop for these and other wholesale jewelry supplies at HalsteadBead.com and don't miss these other articles:

Tips for Making Jewelry with Jeff Fulkerson

Halstead's Preferred Teacher Class List

Jewelry Studio Insights by Michael David Sturlin