What left overs?

But first.

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Is it possible that this is my bench? This organized, clean, ready to make wonderful things, bench?

I think it is.

:)

So,

What to do with those left overs.

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That pile of, what can I do with all this scrap silver, stuff.

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That, I know I can send it back to RioGrande to get credit but I can’t be bothered, stuff.

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Because it’s so much more fun to play with my flame throwing torch thing.

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And make pretty cool, very hot, silver balls instead.

Side Note.

Remember I told you about Willow. How she doesn’t like my studio, and can never settle?

Well, here she is staring at me, imploringly, because it was too cold to keep the studio doors open, and she just barked constantly if I let her stay outside.

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She wasn’t interested in the, now cooled down, molten silver ball.

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She just wanted out of there.

So, what to do now with the newly formed, just hanging around for the next adventure, blob of silver?

Well I decided to roll it through my rolling mill until it became a nice big round disc.

This one turned out just under 1″ in diameter, and is about 2mm thick.

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I then found two small stones that I liked from my stash – which is getting a little out of control, but we won’t talk about that.

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And wrapped them in bezel wire.

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 I then soldered the bezel wire into collars for the stones.

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 And voilà! The stones fit!

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Next I cut a design in the silver disc being careful to keep it within the circumference of the bezel collar to be soldered to it.

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As Willow watched, imploringly.

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Then I soldered the two bezel collars; one onto the left over silver disc, the other onto a small piece of sheet silver.

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During which Willow changed positions, to more comfortably stare at me imploringly.

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I placed the stones back into the bezels to see if they still fit, and was, as I am always, pleasantly surprised that they did.

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(She’s just being pitiful now.)

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Next step. Trying to ignore Willow, I filed down the sides of the second bezel collar flush to the backing. You’ll notice that it’s nigh on impossible to keep a well manicured hand if you choose to make jewelry. Don’t judge me! I do it for art.

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 (Now it’s getting just a tad creepy.)

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And then I filed smooth the solder joint of the first bezel.

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Is she finally settled?

She still looks a bit put out to me, but at least the staring has stopped.

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This is a bit of a fuzzy photo, sorry, but I next soldered a little loop on the top of the second bezel.

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And then soldered another ring through that one, and onto the left over silver disc.

That’s a bit tricky for me as invariably something unsolders itself when I’m not paying attention.

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This time it was o.k., however, and now there’s no way those rings are opening.

(I forgot to photograph it, but I then popped a small silver ball on the bottom.)

(See that bench? Still clean. It’s all a little, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Spooky.)

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All that was left was to file down the bezel collars to the best height for the stones.

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Push the collar over onto the sloping side of the stone with the bezel pusher.

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And finally, after only a few cuss words when the bezel pusher slipped once too often – the finished item.

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Here it is cleaned up.

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Top – Blue Variscite
Bottom – Burtis Blue turquoise

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As usual, I’m not sure that I like it, but it does look somewhat better than the scrap heap I started with.

My biggest problem in jewelry making is finishing it. I never quite like the look I get at the end. Sometimes it turns out fine, other times I feel as though it’s just a little off.

One day I’m going to be super good at all this stuff.

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About coldfeetstudio

I am English, but live in Houston, TX. I have a degree in Sculpture. I love to make art. I sell my art for charity as I believe there should be no reason for someone to go hungry in this world. I am a wife, mother, pottery maker, jewelry maker, quilt maker, painter, cat lover, and, dog liker. And I am very fortunate to be all these things. View all posts by coldfeetstudio

11 responses to “What left overs?

  • Fresh Baked Designs

    Being newish to bezel setting, I was very interested and appreciative of your detailed post . Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and process!

    • coldfeetstudio

      You’re welcome. I was thinking about you, actually, when I was making it, and wondering how you’re getting on with it all.
      I’m just a bit of a muddler myself, and, as I mentioned, am never fully satisfied with my end results. I’m a try, try, and then try some more, kind of person. Of course, I’m nothing without Willow the Wonder Dog!

  • KerryCan

    This was a lot to fun to read–I love detailed process descriptions about most anything! I’m the lazy type and send my scrap to Rio but this is pretty inspiring! I think I need a dog to hang out in my studio with me . . .

  • Nancy Cornett

    I just discovered your blog and am really enjoying it. I notice you have a couple of cordless Dremels – the Stylus model maybe?
    I want a 2nd rotary tool and got out our old Dremel but found it was too fast. I was trying some gentle finish sanding at the lowest speed and it took too much off. I can get the Foredom flex shaft to go as slow as I need. Have you found that to be a problem with the Stylus (or whatever model it is)?
    And would you mind telling me how you like working with it? Hey, that could be a great topic for a blog post, eh?
    I would really like to have a cordless.
    -Nancy Cornett
    AuSable Designs

    • coldfeetstudio

      Nancy, first off. That reindeer ornament is really neat :)

      Yes, it’s a stylus. I have two, and a foredom, which is hanging above my table on a hook, because I am lazy and don’t want to constantly change bits. I use the foredom for drilling and bur work, one of the dremels for sanding, the other for buffing. I also have a foredom polishing lathe, for finishing. (I justify this because I don’t buy clothes or jewelry for myself, and I walk into a different universe when I open the door to my studio. Life is too short not to do what you love ;))

      What I have discovered about myself is that I am a very fast worker. (I throw pottery at the speed of light also), and so the speed of the dremel doesn’t bother me. Occasionally I turn it to the lowest setting, but more often than not, it’s going full whack. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, and I am gradually trying to slow things down and practice the zen thing. I’m almost getting there :)

      (I’d have to look at the older dremels we have hanging around, but don’t they have just slow and fast buttons? I can’t remember, but the hand held stylus has a speed wheel, which gives you more control.)

      I use the sanding disc on the dremel mainly to shave down the collar on the bezels, ready some areas for soldering, and to sand down the back of the silver balls I use. This is the most annoying thing in the world as invariably they fly off everywhere never to be found again. But I can’t help myself, I love the excitement of the game.

      With the speed, if you take some of the pressure off the contact with your work, you can control how much metal you take off. I’ve found that even the coarse buffer I use on the second dremel can take off some metal, then you can change the buffing to a finer wheel until you get the finish you want.

      I love the dremel because it fits into my hand perfectly and I think I get more control that way than with the foredom.

      It is a good purchase, I think, and you don’t necessarily have to be lazy to own one ;)

      • Nancy Cornett

        Hmmm, I replied to your reply a while ago, but looks like I messed up something cause it’s not here. What a shame. It was quite profound, frankly a possible life changer. Unfortunately I can’t remember any of the specifics of the life changing, profound stuff so I’ll just touch the non-profound highlights.

        My Dremel must not be so old because it has a # of speeds, but the lowest is still too fast for what I was trying.

        You sold me on the Stylus. But I couldn’t find it in stock any where so I wrote to Dremel. Bad news – it’s been discontinued and they’ve sold all their remaining stock! Here’s a quote from their email, “I will certainly pass along your request for the Stylus. Never say Never; however at this time there are no plans to have this tool returned to our line.” Maybe we could start a campaign to bring back the Stylus?

        There were some available on e-bay but I lost all the ones I bid on. They went for very high prices, which probably has to do with the fact that you can’t get them any more.

        Belatedly yours, Nancy Cornett

  • Fonda

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Gives me some hope that I may someday get to have time to work on my jewelry more than part time. Thanks again for all of the wonderful tips and pics. I know what you mean about the nails….

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