Boy, am I glad I have been attending open studio and didn't take too much time off between the end of my Fabrication 101 class last November, and the start of Fabrication 201 a few weeks ago. No starting slow this time...our very first night we made a bezel setting for a stone with corners...from scratch, so to speak.
We started with sheet silver and a stone of our choosing - and that
was it. We rolled our own bezel wire, shaped it around the stone and
it to a backplate in under four hours. At the end of that class I had a
finished bezel and a jumpring - ready to be assembled into a pendant.
Creating a bezel with corners requires a much more precise set of measurements than setting a rounded stone. The length of each side of the bezel needs to fit the stone exactly, and the bends, or corners, in the wire need to be sharp. Unlike a round bezel, which can be reshaped around the stone after it is soldered together, the shape of a cornered bezel needs to be maintained throughout the process.
Up to this point, the process was pretty much
the same as any other bezel set pendant I had made, but setting a stone
with corners is a whole different animal. With a rounded cabochon, you
don't have to worry about excess metal ending up in the corners...but
it's a real challenge with a rectangular or triangular stone. Making sure the corners stay sharp requires a lot of elbow (and shoulder) grease...thank goodness for my yoga instructor the next morning!
There were some things I did NOT do for this piece...
I didn't put an icon on the reverse. My original sketch has a little heart on the back - but it didn't happen. This is the smallest piece I have made and the backplate is only about half an inch in both directions. As you can see there really wasn't room to cut much away.
Nor did I make the bail. The bail that I ordered for my lost wax pendant came in a pack of two, so I used the other on here. It was the right size, worked well with the design and saved time (which was pretty precious on this project).
As I have said before, the instructors at Creative Side are fabulous, and De Pastel, who taught 201, is no exception. She did a great job of explaining how to work any excess metal away from the corners and towards the center on the sides of the pendant. The result (after just two classes) - a lovely, dainty piece - with well defined corners.
Until next time.