Cab 411

(updated cabochon photo)
The new thing (or so it seems) in lampwork jewelry are interchangeable cabs (cabochons).  I have spent the past couple of months looking into options... gotta love options. 

Option #1 is the Jet Age Design:
Jet Age Studio

Option #2 is the Sirius System Design:
Mcduck Creations

Initially, both systems appear almost identical in design, I found sight differences in the use, price, and available options.  Here is a list of pros/cons (in my non-biased opinion).

Use:  The Jet Age nut (to be embedded in the glass cabochon) is open-ended.  Therefore, the Jet Age nut requires an extra dab of bead release to ensure the mandrel screw remains separate during the torch process.  Although minor, I'm happy to skip the extra step.  The Sirius System Design nut is closed-ended, so no extra dab of bead release.
Price:  The $18 Sirius System cabochon mandrel is almost half the price as the $32 Jet Age mandrel.  The extra cost adds up fast when purchasing multiple mandrels, however the Jet Age mandrel disc is removable and more versatile.
Mandrel Sizes:  Jet Age has a variety of sizes for the disc mandrels (16mm, 18mm, 20mm, 22mm, 24mm, 26mm, 28mm).  Sirius System currently stocks 2 choices in the size department for disc mandrels (7/8" or 1 1/5").  From practice, I have learned that the mandrel disc size does not have to determine the finished cabochon size.  A lampworker can easily work on a large disc mandrel to create a small cabochon.  It is just a matter of keeping the glass centered and confined.
Optional Accessories:  A girl needs options.  Jet Age offers an array of accent discs, ring designs, ring sizes, risers,  pendants, etc.  The Sirius System also has a variety of designs for drop pendants and rings.  The accessories are difficult to compare because they both work wonderfully in different designs and allow for an array of display options. 
Compatibility:  The Jet Age system is compatible with the Ring Ding, Rico Design, and Sunset Blvd.  The Sirius System has a smaller bolt/thread pattern making it incompatible with the other systems.   

Everything considered...
***drum roll please***

the choice really comes down to personal preference and the lampworker's design vision.

Has anyone else tried both systems?  What is your opinion???   Feel free to leave a comment.

All the best,


Cherry Chick said...

Cool design idea. Those rings ain't cheap at $20-$22 a pop. :-)

Heather Sellers said...

Agreed, but I was happy to pop on a ring and pendant when I started thinking of the unlimited design options. It literally takes seconds to change the cab and accent discs. Currently in the process of designing a silver bracelet with a changable cab station. Something new to play with for sure.

Anonymous said...

Do you sell your beads? Where if so?

Heather Sellers said...

I would be happy to let you know when my studio is back up and running. Just send me a convo email via Etsy for updates: