Friday, March 26, 2010

Earrings #20-22, Enamel Set in Silver Clay

Slowly, I'm gaining on that target of 30 pairs of earrings!

I've learned some things. For example, I should check the size of the cabochons BEFORE I make the earrings. (I knew that, I just didn't do it.) I wound up changing cabs because my planned choices were less than ideal. Those turquoise cabs were very shallow. Since I didn't plan ahead, so the bezels didn't get sanded down to the proper height. Setting a bezel is much more work if you need to deal with a lot of excess material.

The moonstones on the other hand were big. The height worked fine, but the diameter was a bit large for my bezel cups. I had to figure out a way to open up the cups slightly to get them in.

I'm learning more about enameled and setting into silver. The biggest issue, of course, is dealing with shrinkage. Bezel settings need to be just perfectly sized, so it's tricky. Probably I should go read Jen Kahn's chapter on this in PMC Tecnic, but no, I've just been struggling away. Let's say I have some extras ready, when I find something the perfect size.

I know how to construct bezel settings like this with traditional metalsmithing techniques. That might be simpler in some ways, but these have my beloved leaf texture on the sides and back.