Silvio’s Workbench – Making a Bezel

Snap Shot No. 9 ended with Silvio inviting us back for a brief lesson on the fabrication of a bezel. The bezel is a groove or flange designed to hold a stone or a gem on a piece of jewelry.

First, we need a strip of silver. As you already know, Silvio makes his own bezel stock with the assistance of a rolling mill. Do not hesitate to ask him to show you this piece of equipment next time you stop by.

Next, he bends and shapes the bezel so that it hugs the shape of the stone, a Turquoise in this case. The silver strip is then cut to the proper length and soldered at the seam.

The bezel now has the proper shape to hold the stone in place, but first it is soldered on the silver plate that will be the bottom, so to speak. Once this is done, Silvio opens up the bottom so that the back side of the stone is visible when the piece of jewelry is turned upside down.

Back side

It is now time to fold the bezel around the top edge of the stone. This is a very intricate process requiring much patience and care, especially with softer stones, for the bezel must fit very snuggly and it is possible to chip the stone in the process, which involves using a burnishing tool. A burnisher is a tool that uses a rubbing motion for smoothing or polishing metal surfaces.

Voilà!

Almost done!

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About PS MacMurray

Paschal'Simon MacMurray, the scribe, specializes in providing a no nonsense Facebook and Blog presence for small business owners who want quality without breaking the bank. PS MacMurray, the artisan, creates art on a whim using fabric, paper, beads, twine and wire. View all posts by PS MacMurray

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