Saturday, April 25, 2009
Magical Mess-Making + Husband Holidays = KABochons!!!
In a recent post on Watch Me Create about the books currently sitting next to my big comfy chair, I swore I would learn to bezel set, even if it killed me. I ordered all the materials more then a week ago and they finally made their way here in my house yesterday.
It was a nutty day yesterday... doctors' appointments, swim classes, hair cut appointment, baseball practice, and a sleep over! I was running like a crazy lady. Thankfully though, Ron, in his infinite wisdom, knowng how rough the week was on me, took the day off work to help me out. In the middle of the day, I squealed with joy at the UPS guy bringing me my bezel setting box of goodies. And Ron was happy to let me stow away in the studio for a couple hours. He even brought me food while I was working away!
I quickly ripped open the box (you can see the packaging all over the floor in the photo above), I went nuts rummaging through storage boxes to find missing supplies I knew I already had somewhere, and set to work.
Here is what I have learned so far:
1) Solder needs HEAT, so I am returning the crappy little "pencil" torch that I paid $41 for and I am looking for something hotter. Yesterday I ended up using my trusty hot head to solder, but that flame is big and bulky, and hard to control.
2) Bezel wire melts if you get it too hot with your hot head torch, lol. For those of you not familiar with bezel setting, basically you build a "cup" (bezel) for a bead/cabochon from metal. First I built the frame that wrapped all around my bead (from bezel wire), then I soldered that frame to a piece of sterling sheet metal...
3) I need better saw blades and dremels are good for more then just cleaning beads! After I soldered the bezel wire to the sheet metal, I needed to saw away the excess metal and file/shape/smooth/sand the edges around the outside edge of the bezel. I went though 8 jewelry saw blades before pulling out my dremel. HA!
4) Use less solder. You can see in the "back view" of my new bezel pendant that there is way too much solder attaching the bail to the back of the sheet metal. Oh well, I am learning.
I don't think these are ready to sell yet, I need to work on my technique... BUT they do make for a good "Random Act Of Kindness". I gifted a purple one of these to Marcia yesterday afternoon! Enjoy it Marcia!!
Oh, and before I go enjoy this G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. weather we have in Rochester this weekend, I want to tell you all thank you so much for your comments on Thursday's post. It is a wonderful support to know I am not the only ragging lunatic of a Mom, lol. The kids head back to school on Tuesday... I am looking into summer camps... and I'll be alright. You are all appreciated so much... I hope you know that. Thank you.