Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Picture Story of 18 Bezels ~ BTW

Well, it is Bead Table Wednesday again, where we get to show off what is on our bead tables.

What is, and has been on my bead table for three days, are bezels.  I named them lilly pad bezels, due to the texture I gave them.  I wanted to make a lot, so I would have enough bracelets and necklaces for the Lewes DE Coastal Arts Festival next weekend.  Here they are, all 18 (there were 21, but three fell by the wayside, due to complications in the soldering stage.............)
 I thought it may be fun to walk you through the journey I have taken the past three days, while making these.  I like pictures, who doesn't like pictures, so come with me, on a bezel adventure.

First I select the sea glass and items that I want to bezel.  Then I trace a larger outline on copper, cut it out, file and sand the edges.
 Next, I match up the items with their copper counterpart, and trace them so I can add the texture to the outer portion of the bezel.
 Three: texture added.  I use the flat back side of my rivet hammer and slowly turn the copper as I hammer to acheive that sunburst pattern.  I then make sure the hammer the entire piece flat so the bezel will lay flat.
 Four: measure, cut and solder the bezels.  This part I hate.  This part has no pictures.  Once they are measured, cut and soldered, I then sand the bottoms flat, and then solder them to the copper.  This portion took me ALL DAY yesterday, about 8 hours!
 Five:  clean them and shine them up.  After they are soldered, they go into the pickle pot.  Once the tarnish is removed, I used my dremel to clean them up a bit.  Then I matched them back up with their items to be bezeled.

 Six:  Place items inside bezels.  I glue mine. I know you shouldn't have to if the bezel is right, but it makes it easier when bezeling irregular shapes like sea glass.  Once the glue dries, your item won't move around as you bezel it.

 Seven:  secure the bezels.  I like to use my wood dapping blocks as much as I can, because I tend to go off the bezel as I firm it up, and I don't want to scratch my sea glass!!!  I only use my burnisher at the end.
 Eight: punch holes, file backside to remove any excess lip from hole punch
 Nine: add texture with pliers- bending up and down.  Then sand along back and side edges to smooth again and sand all along bezel

 Ten:  add patina to antique them.  I use gel Liver of Sulphur and apply it with a q-tip (real high tech, right?)  I do this because it gives me the most control.  When you bezel items like sea glass, that are transparent, you don't want any of the L.O.S. to get under the stone, or you will have dark spots on it, and its ruined.

 Eleven:  I rub the LOS off with a dry paper towel.  This really gives the copper and great brown color.

 Twleve:  I polish the silver bezel with a cloth to shine it up, so it contrasts the copper.
Thats all folks!  Easy as pie! (that is sooo sarcastic, my POOR hands and fingers!  I will never take on so many at one time again!)

Now I have to make them all into jewelry.  So I will see you later.  I can't wait to see whats on YOUR bead table here!


  1. They are gorgeous! Good luck at your show!

  2. Thanks so much for the step by step! I love these types of posts :) And they came out awesome...good luck at the show!

  3. Wow, these are so beautiful!! I loved seeing and reading about the process; I've been wanting to do metalwork for some time now but haven't had the time or energy. This post gives me a realistic idea of what's involved, and also makes it seem a bit more do-able. I hope you have a great show this weekend!

  4. I love them - they are so beautiful. I have never done that type of work, so it is great to see how much work is involved. Thanks!

  5. wow! thanks for posting the steps that was so awesome to "watch" you are one talented lady!

  6. Fantastic! I'm exhausted and my fingers hurt just reading about your journey! Thanks for bezeling my raku ammonite! I hope it sells fast for you! Love them all!

  7. Lovely bezels! I hope your show is great.

  8. I've just made my very first bezel and could not belive how much time and effort goes into them, you must be superwoman to tackle 18 in one go! They look fantastic!

  9. They are beautiful! I really enjoyed seeing the process... What a lot of work you put into each one! I can't wait to see them in the finished jewelry!