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Last Friday was my Bezel Boot Camp class, taught by wonderful artist & teacher Kim St. Jean. I loved it! It was great and so much fun. We learned how to create a bezel to fit around an object and solder it onto a sterling silver sheet, at which point we could add texture, stampings, and other decorative elements. None of which I have ever done before.

I soldered with a torch! I sawed with a jeweler’s saw! And changed the blade! I used a Dremel! I used a drill press!

I found it a bit intimidating at first – I’ve never so much as touched even a Dremel before. I had to push myself a little to be assertive and just do it. And it was so worth it.

Here is what I made:

my first bezel

back of my bezel

For my very first piece I think it is good. But certainly I can do better as I gain experience.

First I trimmed the bezel wire and soldered the ends together. Then I soldered the bezel wire to the sterling silver sheet. At this point it was time to texture, shape, and embellishment the metal as desired. This was the hardest part because I didn’t really know what to do; I didn’t have a finished product in mind. After some hesitation I told myself to just play with it and try things – if it doesn’t turn out it’s only practice anyway.

So I did some texturing, stamped the letters (it says “be cast into the sea”. It’s kind of backwards because I ran out of room!), cut the side into a wavy pattern, trimmed the corners, and added patina with liver of sulfur.

The last step was to set the stone. Et voila!

Ms St. Jean was a great teacher. She shared so many of her own tips and techniques, and also had time to show us how she makes jump rings, how she adds prongs to set an additional stone, and how she makes her chain. Very cool!

Now I just need to get a torch, some letter stamps, a jeweler’s saw….

Thanks for stopping by!

xoDawne

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