Monday, June 28, 2010

Larimar Necklace #2

Many who have seen my jewelry have asked 'So do you glue that in there?' The short answer is No! The long answer will be given in a series of blog posts answering just how I do what I do. I'm constructing this piece in conjunction with my blog posts.

The Construction
Now that I've decided on a design, I've got to figure out just how I'm going to construct it. I admit that I still have the habit of diving in to a piece, I just go for it and don't always plan. I guess I just get excited! Sometimes this means I learn in retrospect what to do next time (and this usually means the next time I will save time and maybe a headache)!

The Bezel
Whether I need to put a lot of thought into my construction or not, for me the first step in construction starts with the bezel. The bezel is the silver that holds the stone in place.  I cut and shape it to the stone by first bending it around the stone. This may seem like a simple task, but oh contraire! The cut ends of the bezel must be hand filed to perfection (or pretty close), meaning they must be straight up and down. Not only that, the bezel must fit the circumference of the stone just so. Too loose and it won't hold stone, too tight and you cant fit the stone in. After I'm satisfied with the filed ends, I solder them together (picture above left)

In addition, I 'customize' each bezel further to fit the height of the stone. A lot of the cabochons I work with are free form, that is they are thicker in some places than others. It takes a lot of time and patience to shape a bezel. This one (left) is not done yet! I've only started hand filing. For these reasons, it's not uncommon for me to spend a few hours on just the bezel construction.

Why go through all this effort? For me there are two reasons. For one, in the end the finished piece looks much better. Shaping it exactly to the stone assures no gaps and avoids a potential 'crinkle' in the bezel. Secondly, I personally feel that good craftsmanship calls for this type of time dedication.

jewelry, jewelry construction, metalsmithing, art

1 comment:

  1. Cool! *thumbs up* I agree with your comment about good craftsmanship. Nice job!


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