Taking a gemstone cabochon and manipulating wire to encase and showcase it is one of my favorite parts of jewelry making. Trouble is, eventually, they all looked the same to me. Sure, you can vary the wraps up the stone and everybody seems to have a signature way of swirling the left-over wire at the top, but it's still a beautiful gemstone with distracting swirlies.
About six months ago, I ordered a book from Amazon, called "Wiresmithing" by Jim McIntosh. He gives very clear instructions for a technique of prong setting cabochons, instead of the traditional wirewrapping. It took me quite a while to decide to try it, but it was a Eureka moment. Not only do you get to do wraps, you can fuse, solder, hammer and create beautiful frames for your cabs.
My first attempt was a very simple wrap with prongs and no fire involved, but it was a pretty amazonite cab and the simplicity of the wrap really turns the stone into the focal point it should be.
And hummingbirds? They're my idea of an avian Jack Russell! Always busy, cranky little beasties who have no idea how small they really are.