Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday Project - Bezels in Silver Clay

making your own jewellery

Between day job, Christmas jewellery orders and sing outs with my chorus, I have trouble finding time for
R&D, but I did manage something new this weekend.
I recently bought some gorgeous pear shaped cabochons - aquamarine and carnelian, and I wanted to do something special with them. Building on the bezel trials from earlier, I thought I might try mixing silver bezel sheet with precious metal clay.

I do some silver drops which are quite popular in the shop and thought they would look great with some added stones.

I tried pressing the stones into the clay, thinking I could leave a nice indent to add the stones to after firing, but it didn't work. It didn't make an impression at all, unless I pressed to hard that the clay was crushed.
So instead I tried attaching the bezel with some paste once the clay was dry.
The bond proved too flimsy and I had to solder the bezels on in the end, which was what I was trying to avoid.
Next time I will embed the bezel in the wet clay. If I can press it down far enough and fortify with paste, it should do the job.

handmade jewellery

In the end it worked after all, but the result is not as smooth as I would like it to be. For one the bezel on one aquamarine earring needs repairing, and I'm afraid I left a few nicks on the stones - too eager with my bezel roller. Patience is needed. It's very easy to scratch the stones.
Still I'm pleased with my first try, and as aquamarine is my birthstone, I'm quite happy to keep this first pair.