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.
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.
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.
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.