Sue had a selection of samples laid out for us, including this massive wire prong bezel pendant. Right away I knew I was going to make a bezel using this technique.
I brought my entire collection of crystal and fossil cabochons with me but ultimately decided I would set this pretty quartz piece. I also used the sterling silver wire I already had on hand, which included 16 gauge and 20 gauge (I would not use 20 gauge in the future though as it would need to be work-hardened to be secure). I do plan to add 18 and 14 gauge to my supplies in the near future.
The first step was to create a base that I would then attach all the prongs to. I used the 16 gauge wire for this. Once the ends were filed, I soldered the wire together.
I then cut several lengths of 20 gauge wire and created balled headpins to use as the prongs.
I eyeballed the length of the headpins and cut them down in size and soldered the first two onto the base.
Then the final two prongs were measured and soldered on.
I noticed along the way I must have goofed and I had to flip the base around. Oops. But it was still going to work!
I went with a simple arch for the bail. I also realized at this point that the bezel looked kind of like a baby reaching out to be held. Hehe.
I gave the bezel a Liver of sulfur bath and then I slid the quartz in and folded the prongs over.
This was an easy and fun way to set a stone! Colin is going to finish getting my torch set up in the workshop so that I can begin making these at home.
What's your favorite way to set unusually-shaped stones?