The two fold experiment.
I think I’m all folded out now.
I’m not sure if I’m actually going to use all of my ‘mistake’ silver for cuffs,
but here’s number two.
I don’t know if I like this one as much as the first, but I wanted to see if I could do a long fold this time.
Perhaps I’m not liking it because it’s a bit girly for me.
I think it looks like the frill at the end of a piece of fabric.
You know, that embroidery anglaise stuff.
I’m not really a frilly person.
I am kind of liking the challenge and definitely want to explore a few more designs, but I also ordered the correct size of silver yesterday so I’m looking forward to that as the stones are calling.
Right now, however, I feel as if I’m in the twelve cuffs of Christmas movie.
In other news, I’m about to send $1,000 to Doctors without Borders.
Thanks to everyone who has bought a piece of jewelry from me, I can’t believe I’m up to $24,000!
It was a bitter-sweet experience.
Bitter because I made a mistake buying my silver..
And sweet because I made a mistake buying my silver.
Here’s to your mistakes.
May you always take them by the throat and beat them senseless until you win.
I won’t say good riddance because I believe she was brought kicking and screaming into this world for a reason.
As a reminder to always trust my instincts.
A whole month ago I sent off one of my favourite bracelets to Washington.
But she never arrived
Finally I found out the tragic truth.
That she was lost forever on this vast place we call Earth.
Although I hate to admit it I think it was my fault.
I posted it on Columbus Day, because even though I’ve lived here for twenty five years now I never can remember which holiday is which and when it’s going to happen.
I always accused the kids of lying to me when I found them still in bed on school days.
It took a lot of convincing on their part for me to finally believe that it was actually a bank holiday and that they weren’t just trying to pull a fast one on me.
So it only occurred to me that it was a holiday after I admit to being slightly horrified that the postman/lady/crossgender, (also known as gender fluid), still hadn’t emptied the post box at three in the afternoon.
What were they doing! I had important things to post.
So I stuffed my package into the full to brimming post box (does it mind being called a box?) and sat in my car looking at it.
I almost took it out again. Federal offense or not.
But my ever optimist self decided that it would be completely safe until the post person finally decided to make an appearance.
Always trust your instincts people, and brush up on your bank holiday trivia.
I believe now that my lovely aquamarine favourite bracelet was taken.
I hope that if this is the case that the person needed it, and that it will spend many fine years with them, or, more likely be sold off to pay for something else that they need badly.
Like a kick up the backside.
Goodbye dear friend and may you ever know that you were once loved.
So, the very nice lady, whom I’d been in contact with throughout this trying period, told me that she would take Tiffany as a replacement. Even though she had read about her harrowing delivery into this world.
I can’t lie, it almost brought a tear to my eye.
So now she’s off, and yes, with a little good riddance, but also with some gratitude.
So to all my good cyber space friends
May you all keep in good health and never stuff your packages into overflowing post vessels.
Let me present to you today the bezel from hell.
First I melted the collar right off its base.
(See yesterdays post)
Second, after I’d lovingly and painstakingly made Tiffany a new home her corner broke off and so, even though perhaps this was a tad childish, I stomped out of the studio and left her on the floor overnight in disgust.
At this point, let me tell you, I almost broke off our relationship.
Third, after all I’d done for her. After making up and nursing her back to health, what happened? She wouldn’t lay flat in the bezel but showed off and rocked backward and forward like she was on a seesaw.
Not just a little, a lot.
And lastly, never one to walk away from a fight, I finally set her stone-like self, rather well I thought considering I had to grind flat the inside of the bezel forever, and would you believe it, the bottom jump ring fell off, even though I’d checked and double checked that it was secure before I put the stone it.
I almost threw the thing in the bin at this point.
The glutton for punishment I am, I took that darn stone out of the bezel and re soldered the jump ring onto it
then set the stone
Mwahahaha. Take that Tiffany baby.
I forgot to take a photo of the back because I hate it, but felt that as this was the reason I didn’t just start over in the first place that you should get a dark, shadowy, depths of hell, glimpse of it.
I believe that this was all Jane’s fault.
Here’s another one which I ended up fiddling with more than needed.
It just wasn’t doing it for me so I took the stone out (I’m getting quite good at that now) and tried to give it a little more substance.
Still not completely convinced about the back though.
It’s Friday people!
A good weekend to you all.
I wrote this at the weekend and wanted to finish the piece before I posted it.
I shouldn’t have bothered as it all went bottom’s up from there.
I will show you the first bit, however.
Especially for Jane.
This stone was too tall for my thin bezel wire, and too short for the super duper thick bezel wire.
As I only have the two widths of wire in my supply kit, I chose the thick wire.
Which, as it turns out, is perfect for my notes to Jane.
Solder the bezel wire together on one of the flat sides of the stone. See – HERE for soldering tips. It’s not a good idea to solder at a corner or point. I like the join to be in a place that can be hidden by some of my design.
At this point although the bezel is cut to fit the stone it’s probably been distorted slightly during soldering. I like to run my flat nose pliers, or burnishing tool, around the edges to really make sure it all fits snug to the stone. I also take my flat nose pliers to define the sharper corners by folding a line at the tip edge of the stone.
This gives it a nice, crisp, finished look.
The bottom shape of the bezel wire is the most important as this is the part which will be soldered to the sheet metal. If the bottom of the wire is not exactly the shape of the stone it will look bad and the stone won’t fit correctly in the collar again.
As you’re pushing the wire to the stone (see below) you can distort the top edge of the wire by unintentionally curving it over the top of the stone. Although, in a pinch, you can straighten the sides of the bezel once you’ve soldered it to the back plate this is not the best approach. I take the stone out of the bezel wire through the bottom of the collar, and replace it in the collar from the top to ensure that the stone fits nicely into the bezel from the top once I’ve soldered it.
I do this several times until I’m satisfied that the stone passes smoothly from the top through the bottom.
When you have done this and sanded both the bottom of the collar and the surface you’re to solder it onto make sure one more time that the stone fits before you solder.
I suppose you could do the sanding first
I guess I’m stuck in my ways.
It seems a lot of checking, but once you get the hang of it you don’t need to do it as much.
Once I’ve soldered the collar to the backing plate I like to drill a hole in the bottom so that I can get the stone out again.
I do this because I usually have a design on the back of the pendant and you don’t see the hole afterward. You can run dental floss across the bottom of the stone if you don’t want to drill a hole. This gets it out fine also.
The main thing is that it’s important to be able to get your stone out again as you trim your collar.
Now put the stone back into it’s setting.
I’ve got a wonky stone here which I hadn’t noticed before.
Ignore that and run your pencil around the top of the stone and mark the inside of the collar.
Be careful not to mark the stone. Pencil will generally come off, but I wouldn’t want to get Sharpie on it for instance.
Take the stone out of the setting.
(See. Really wonky.)
I used my snippers to cut away most of the unwanted wire.
Usually this isn’t necessary unless you have odd stones that don’t fit the regular widths of wire, or you don’t have it on hand. You can make your own bezel wire from sheet metal, but I like the pre cut wire.
Lot less fuss.
I snipped here because it would have taken too long to file down and I would have gone out of my mind with boredom.
Sometimes it can be a bit tricky, just snip gently.
Then fit the stone back in again to see if you need to snip more.
At this point use a file or sanding disc on your Dremel or Fordom to file away the rest of the bezel wire down to the pencil line.
You might just be able to see in the photo below that I have marked a dip in the pointed corner with a pen, and less visibly, a slight dip at the curved corners.
By sanding these points away slightly when you push the bezel wire over the edge of the stone it will look cleaner.
I graduate the curve into the corners.
(Sorry about the grubby hands. I fired my hand model last week and haven’t found a replacement yet who’s also willing to make the tea.)
That’s when I had to go in to make dinner.
(Note. You should never turn your back on a piece that is all going according to plan. You may never get back the magic.)
The next day all hell broke loose.
Oh yes it started out rosy.
I made the piece a nice dangly thing with a small set stone.
(I was going to show you how to set the tiny stone Jane, but thought that might put you over the edge and so decided to save it for later.)
I fashioned a lovely design for the back, and a bale for the chain.
Then, in the blink of an eye when my concentration turned to which song I should sing at my X Factor audition – Nina Simone, or Billie Holiday – I soldered the bezel right off that backing plate, and had to swear a little (only in my head mind) when it melted away down one side.
Time of death was around three o’clock central time.
Not one to give in I made it another collar which, because I was ticked off, never did quite fit the stone as well as the first one.
I think I was trying to punish the stone at this point but rather bit off my nose to save my face.
As I had already filed down the plate after I’d soldered the first collar I had to be extra careful fitting the second one to the back. I could’ve made it all new, but I’d already put my design on the back and darn it if it was going to beat me.
As a consequence, will all my fiddling, the corner of the #$$^&*#! stone broke off and fell onto the floor where I decided to leave it until I was in a better frame of mind.
At this point the atmosphere in the studio was a bit tense, to say the lease, and Willow had to hide.
Actually Willow always hides there even when I’m singing.
O.K. probably because I’m singing.
I hope that’s not why she’s gone deaf…
All said and done, however, I think Jane that you might be able to get something out of this mess to help with the first stage of bezel setting.
I’ll try to collect myself enough to make a complete one next time.
I wouldn’t want Simon to roll his eyes.
My only other choice is the lonely goatherd.
Only Willow physically shakes when I yodel so I have to use hand signals on that bit.
I think I’ll stick with Nina.