Deuce of Diamonds

by Cindy on November 1, 2010

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Bezels, beautiful bezels ready to be filled and sent on their way to becoming something wonderful.  The result of one of my latest creative journeys, the bezels were made with techniques I learned in Stephanie Lee’s  fantastic e-course, Homesteader’s Metalsmithing.  I’m rather proud of these bezels as although they may look simple upon first glance, they actually represent many steps in a lengthy but fun process! 

First sheet metal was sanded,  cut, filed and then flooded with solder.  Next a bezel was cut from copper pipe and filed, or created from coiling wire at random.  Next rings were carefully added or rhinestone accents.  I loved adding the rhinestone pieces but quickly learned that there is a fine line between heating the solder to flowing and scorching the delicate rhinestones themselves.  The final stage was adding a patina, creating a great tarnished and aged appearance.

The bezels were then put aside for some time, like empty journals waiting for the stroke of a pen.  I’ll admit a tiny concern was holding me back.  The final step of filling the bezels and adding resin was filled with potential disaster.   What if for some reason the resin didn’t set and the entire piece was ruined during the final stage (after all of that work!)?  I finally had enough tip-toeing around my bezels though,  and with my sister’s birthday approaching, decided to use one for a special birthday necklace.

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My younger sister is an incredible rider.  Nikki learned to ride in Germany when she was just in elementary school, and kept up with her passion all the way through college and was on the equestrian team at Dartmouth.  Years later she is still riding and can be found every Saturday with her beloved Deuce of Diamonds.    I decided to create a birthday present that was centered around one of her true loves.   I found the perfect image in my vintage image collection:  a scrapbook cover once used to hold post cards.

vintage-scrapbook-cover

I filled a bezel with a few seedbeads for interest and added the image of the rider.  The finished necklace is nice and long, using both oxidized and shiny sterling silver chains.  I found it wasn’t easy taking a picture of the pendant due to reflection on the resin.

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Happy Birthday to a dear Sis! 

It was fulfilling to combine both of our interests in a piece of jewelry.  If you’d like to learn some of the best metalsmithing skills ever, it’s not too late to join Stephanie’s next e-course.  The next class starts on November 8th and registration is open through November 15th. 

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

esther November 2, 2010 at 12:38 am

what fabulous those bezel are!! i totally agree with you!! after all this torch’s and patience work.. adding resin it’s just a scary thing!! but you did it well!! I’ve learned too by Stefanie Lee, but in her book only.. Your sister is like you?!! are you twins??? ( i know that you aren’t ) happy birthday to her and congrats for this beautiful necklace , she will appreciate , i’m sure!!

Kayla November 2, 2010 at 12:50 am

I can’t really come up with anything to say because I’m so stunned at how incredible and breathtaking that piece is! This is actually one of my dreams-To be able to do metalsmithing with my jewelry :) I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for that e-course, but I definitely don’t have any money for it, let alone supplies >.<
One day though!

Happy birthday to your beautiful sister-It’s funny, you guys remind me of my sister and I; My passion is jewelry making and her’s is horseback riding. Lol

Renate November 2, 2010 at 1:11 am

What wonderful bezels – yes, they are alot of work, but you did it beautifully. I am sure your sister will love it! Happy Birthday to her!
And a very, very Happy Birthday to you, sweet Cindy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ann-Margaret Arnold November 2, 2010 at 1:36 am

Your bezels are simply beautiful! And, what a treasure you created for your sister! She will certainly hold this b’day gift close to heart always, I’m sure! :) I can relate to how much fun it is to create something special for a sister. I have done this with my sweet sister, too, and I think I am usually just as excited about giving her the surprise as she is to receive it! Sisters are such sweet blessings! And, yes, you two really do favor! :)

Love,

Ann~Margaret

Courtney November 2, 2010 at 5:27 am

Your bezels are absolutely amazing! You did a great job. Happy Birthday to your sister!

diane cook November 2, 2010 at 5:45 am

Absolutely beautiful work Cindy! You did a great job on this very special piece for you sister =) She will love it …. I am sure! And, I love Deuce of Diamonds!!
Your sister looks like an awesome young lady! I know you are very proud of her ?
Yes, there is a fine line to putting fire anywhere near vintage rhinestones….a lot can happen!

Brenda November 2, 2010 at 6:24 am

Your bezels are wonderful!

Brenda November 2, 2010 at 6:24 am

Your bezels are wonderful!

Kerry November 2, 2010 at 6:28 am

I LOVE IT!!

Happy Birthday Nikki!!

and…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDY!!! It is just like you to celebrate someone else and completely forget to mention yourself. I hope you have a spectacular day.

Rebecca Anderson November 2, 2010 at 7:10 am

Cindi, IMMEDIATELY I saw your bezels picture, I signed up for Stephanie’s course. I had been thinking about it for a while but your wonderful bezels have pushed me into action! They are stunning and I am so excited about learning all these new skills. Happy Birthday to your sister who will no doubt love her very beautiful present :-)

Nicki November 2, 2010 at 7:12 am

I read all the comments above and learned that this is your birthday too. Happy birthday, my dear friend. You look fabulous in this picture with the horse. Funny – that your sister is Nikki (like me) and learned horse back riding in Germany (like me).
Those bezels are so cool, but when I did my first ones, I started to appreciate the prices that designers charge for them. They should be way more expensive. You did a great job. I did some trial and error, but will still check out stefanie’s course. I have a class coming up that I got for my B-day in June, also metalsmithing and I am thinking hard about what I want to learn. Sawing? Filing? Stone setting? etching? All of them?
so excited.

Christine B November 2, 2010 at 7:14 am

Oh, Cindy!! Those bezels are AMAZING! Now I want to learn to do that too….so many things to try!

Happy birthday to your sister…I know she will love her gift from you! And happy birthday to YOU too, Cindy! Hope it’s a great day!

Talk to you soon!

Barbara Lewis November 2, 2010 at 7:53 am

Happy birthday, Cindy! The necklace for your sister certainly is a labor of love … beautiful detail. Love the techniques. I signed up for Stephanie’s class … Lori and I will be there … it is sure to be full of good information. Plus, I love being a student!!!

Alice November 2, 2010 at 8:06 am

It’s amazing that your sister has held on to her passion of riding all these years. Many times these passions fade away, or change to something new. How sweet that you made such a beautiful and meaningful piece for her birthday–one that she will cherish forever.

I took Stephanie’s Class too, and have a few empty bezels to show for it. Unfortunatly, life gets in the way and there they sit, waiting to be finished. I haven’t even been able to get beyond the bezels, and a bit of wire work. Good thing I purchased the DVD!

I love the unique bail.

Barbara Bechtel November 2, 2010 at 8:20 am

oooooh. These are lovely! I love the piece you made for her sister! I know she will love it. It was so thoughtful and heartfelt, not to mention gorgeous!

I’ve been experimenting with the bezels as well but I haven’t worked up the courage and ease of skill yet to try to solder anything other than the copper rings and jumprings. Way to go!

Norma November 2, 2010 at 9:35 am

Cindy,
Happy birthday! Your sister’s necklace is stunning. What a special birthday gift. Have a beautiful day.

LeAnn November 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

Such a thoughtful and beautiful birthday present. Your bezels look wonderful!

Molly Alexander November 2, 2010 at 10:01 am

Happy Birthday Cindy! Your bezels are gorgeous and I love the piece you made for your sister, and I can’t wait to see what you make with the rest of them!

:-) Molly

Jackie November 2, 2010 at 10:06 am

Your bezels are beautiful!! I took Stephanie’s class too and loved it, but I also got held up for a while at the resin part – too scary, until I finally took the plunge and it was really fun (some mistakes were made, but with practice, it’s gotten better…). It’s all such a cool process to make something from absolutely nothing! I love the necklace for your sister!

Laura November 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

Happy Birthday Cindy! What a thoughtful gift for your sister too, the bezels look amazing! I also read on Kerry’s blog that you have been included in Denise Peck’s new book, congratulations! So many good things happening!

Carolyn Mallin November 2, 2010 at 11:12 am

Happy Birthday Cindy! Hope you have a wonderful day. Your bezels turned out just gorgeous. I’m sure your sister will love the treasure that you made for her.

Jeanette November 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

Cindy,
What an beautiful and sentimental gift you created for your sister. I know she will always cherish it. I can see all the thought and time that went into this piece. Also, I wish you a very happy birthday! Have a wonderful day.

Jeanette November 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

PS. and yes, it IS very tricky to photograph a resin piece. There must be a trick to photographing it without the glare…

Nikki November 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

aw!!! I do love the necklace!!!! It’s beautiful and it’s going to be a keepsake for the years to come. It’s so unique and I love the image of the horse and rider, and the beautiful rhinestones and the way the two strands of silver twine together. thank you, Cindy!!! AND happy birthday to you, too!!!!!

sandi m November 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

Your bezels are beautiful!! I wanted to take Stephanie’s class but have too much going on right now. Hope she’ll offer it again next year.
I know your sister will love her necklace. (You really look like twins!)
Enjoy your Happy Birth Day!!!

Keirsten November 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

These are absolutely phenomenal!! I love the idea of using sections of copper pipe–how slick is that! Sounds so much easier than using metal tape. I love the addition of the rhinestones to the antiqued metal–that is a really stunning look. The piece you did for your sister is just gorgeous–I love how you soldered the flowered ring on there for a bail. Is that maybe part of a toggle clasp or something? I could see etched washers working nicely for that as well. Perfect choice of artwork. LOVE your new direction!!

Kim November 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I want to be your sister. Beautiful work from such a talented lady. Thank you for sharing.

Lori Anderson November 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

That is AMAZING! And the ring is gorgeous, too, with the flowers! She’s going to love it — I know I love my necklace!

Stefanie November 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm

OH MY GOD – Cindy, I’m in awe. Your bezels and the final piece are breathtaking. Love, love, love it!

Pattie November 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Oh how incredibly beautiful this necklace is, Little Mama!!!!! And what an amazing keepsake for your sister to have as a reminder of art of Sisterhood!!!

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Shelby November 2, 2010 at 8:51 pm

What a wonderful birthday gift for your sister. Truly a heartfelt gift, I’m sure that she will cherish it for many years to come.

And look at all those fabulous bezels you’ve created! I can’t wait to do this very technique myself. Only 1 short week until “class” begins.

Happy Birthday to you as well!

Riki Schumacher November 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Great job Cindy! It is scary to put the flame near the rhinestones, kind of like Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold! LOL. But you did it! Your sis will love this, please post a pic of her in it! Hugs,Riki

Jen Velasquez November 3, 2010 at 12:56 am

Lovely piece! You make me want to break out the torch…I am absolutely loving the details of those bezels. I have a couple of boxes of vintage or just interesting shiny rhinestones and pearls that I really need to break out…you’re so inspiring!!!

Melinda Orr November 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Loving the bezels! A nostalgic flair yet trendy~

Sally November 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Cindy, your bezels are great! I’m signed up and impatiently waiting for the class to start!
The necklace and pendant you made for your sister are beautiful! A lovely gift that I’m sure will always be treasured!!

Sandy Richardson November 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

Just droped in to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Be Blessed
lookatthecolors@sbcglobal.net

Virginie November 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm

These are amazing! you could if you were to make another batch, sell them empty so that people could put their own pic in it…The amount of work that goes into it is phenomenal. I wonder if you could make rings, now that you’ve got the hang of things. smiles, Virginie

Judy November 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Your sister will be so thrilled with the beautiful necklace you made her, such a gorgeous heirloom to be passed down for generations.
I am for sure going to look into that class, your bezels are wonderful! Thanks so much Cindy for sharing!

Niina November 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Hello from Finland,
Your bazels are so beautiful and gorgeous. You are an extremely skilled :D

sharon b November 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Very very incredible Cindy!! Realy, the most gorgeous bezels ever!! You are sooo talented, and a wonderful friend also!

Becky Caldwell November 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Gorgeous! I have been DYING to see your creations from this wonderful class! :) This piece really showcases your talents!

Christine November 4, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Lovely bezels!! I’m sure your sis LOVED her necklace!!

Christine Damm November 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

Wow, those are fabulous and full of your special artisanry and craft! And that picture– I have a large one of that one! I’ve been meaning to frame it– it’s one of my favorite Victorian ones. What a beautiful and special piece for your sis– you guys could be twins! And her horse– what a stunning guy he is! I’ll bet he can jump anything! Thanks for the tip to Stephanie’s course– maybe I can afford it, I would love to learn how to make bezels. Great work, as usual!

Deryn Mentock November 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

You did a great job with the bezels. Your sister will be thrilled, I’m sure!

shannon westmeyer November 5, 2010 at 10:00 am

This is just beautiful Cindy! I love the thought behind it and the bezels are just stunning and inspiring. I love turning old into new- beautiful work!

Melissa M November 5, 2010 at 11:03 am

How did I miss this one! Wow, such a gorgeous necklace and all those bezels! I have been waffling on signing up for her class, but don’t know if I can justify it financially this go round, but gosh, this makes me just want to go jump in!

Mari Aparicio November 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Gorgeous!!!!! amazing! beautiful!!!

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