Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday's Class - Creating a Bezel

This week we learned how to make a bezel setting for a stone (or other cabachon), a skill I've wanted to learn for ages! I also have a new appreciation for the time and attention required to get this just right :)   Originally, I intended to use a small larimar stone I have but decided set this larger lapis lazuli as it is about twice the size -- this seemed like a good idea for a beginner such as myself and I was right! :)  I chose my fine silver bezel wire and wrapped the stone to mark the length required.  I trimmed the seam for a snug fit to solder which is already completed in photo 3.  I struggled with the soldering of this seam, first causing it to flow right BESIDE the seam -- good grief.  My second attempt failed because I didn't have my torch temperature high enough which resulted in a second cleaning and a bit of a panic that the bezel would no longer fit the stone. Third time proved successful and you can see it still fit  -- YAY!

Next, I cut my base plate from 20 gauge sterling sheet metal and this is as far as I got in the process. At Open Studio on Friday, I'm going to finish the setting and solder it to the silver band I made earlier.  It will be ready to set the stone and finish at next Wednesday's class! I have a second ring band and that larimar stone I mentioned -- my goal is to have that ring also completed before the end of this course.  I've enjoyed it so much, I signed up for a second class later April :)  Stay tuned for the finished lapis ring next week...