Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Boho Bolo

NOW I KNOW. The bolo or bola tie is the official neckwear of not one but three U.S. states: Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. I discovered that as I looked into the bolo’s history when I started working on this project. That started me down the rabbit hole of official state neckwear, but apparently other states haven’t yet got the memo.

What became very clear is that bolo ties have been making a fashion comeback, with skinny cord styles for ladies cropping up on red carpets and in magazines, and jewelrymaking heroes like Richard Salley and Kit Carson producing gorgeous, sculptural versions that made my palms sweat. This version is my take on more traditional turquoise and silver versions. It’s a sort of bohemian approach incorporating a simple dimensional element for interest and classic ball wire embellishment that allows the piece to straddle the line between masculine and feminine. Depending on the stone and the scale of the ball wire you choose, the focal can be a bit delicate or a whole lot in your face — kind of like my home state of Texas.

CREATE THE BEZEL

Create a bezel for the cabochon using either fine silver bezel wire or cut down from fine silver sheet. Solder it closed with hard solder, then quench and dry the bezel.

Check and refine the fit of the bezel to the stone and sand the bottom completely flat. Solder the bezel to a piece of 22 gauge sterling silver using hard solder. Leave yourself enough real estate around the bezel to allow for adding the

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