Three Stone Garnet Ring – Carving Bezels

So, like I probably mentioned before, I am obsessed with stones and gems.

I used to be (still am a bit) addicted to ebay and managed to accumulate a large collection of stones.

I took a night silver-smithing course in SVA (School of Visual Arts) in New York over ten years ago and I knew how to make a bezel from fine silver, but for that I would need a full studio equipment to do the soldering.

I looked for tutorials on carving bezels out of wax but couldn’t find any. I found this oneΒ http://nodeform.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/carving-bezel-setting-in-wax.htmlΒ which is great but I’m not very good with adding molten wax, it just comes out flaky and brittle.

So I decided to try my own method again. I saw in many videos how you just drill a hole in a piece of metal/ring, put the stone in, and then press around it with a burnisher (or a similar tool) and create a “flush” setting. Since I don’t have a drill, I made the holes for two stones, a faceted natural emerald and a lab-created faceted tanzanite- in the wax model itself. I made a simple ring with two carefully measured holes for the stones. I figured if I failed I could at least try my “push it in and it will stay” technique.

I failed miserably. Sterling silver is really hard and as mush as I tried pushing around the edges of the holes, nothing happened and the stones did not stay. I tried pushing them in, filing the holes a bit larger, but I ended cracking the tanzanite and cutting my finger. I admitted defeat and added the ring to my wax models/silver casts graveyard on my printer. Hopefully once I have a studio I will melt it and recycle the silver. Who knows, maybe by then I’ll learn how to set faceted stones…

However, I was still obsessed with making a ring with some kind of stones, and since I knew how a bezel should look like and how to close it, I decided to try and carve it from wax.

Sadly I can’t find a picture of the wax model before I sent it off for casting, but I do remember how thin the walls of the bezels I carved were – so thin they seemed translucent – and still it was quite hard pushing them onto the garnet cabochons.

I like the ring that came out although I still want the bezel to fit tighter and smoother around the stones. I’m not sure if I should make any rings for my Etsy shop since I can’t re-size rings I’ve made without a studio, and I’m not sure how practical making a ring to order would be… I’ll have to give it some more thought.

Here are some pictures of the three-stone garnet ring and my hairy knuckles. Enjoy.

 

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