Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March 1

A Second Stick

Back on January 23, I blogged about using a cast sterling flower to decorate a hair stick. When I decided on that project, I ordered a package of several handcrafted wooden sticks from an etsy seller. My Scottish ancestry would never tolerate letting the extras go to waste, so I will be coming up with several hair stick designs in the near future. Here is the process of making one.

Making Bezel Mount for Quartz

I had a 10mm dusky brown quartz cabochon in my stone stash and thought it would compliment the brown wooden stick very nicely. All I needed was a mounting system.

In this photo, I have just finished soldering a bezel cup to a post that will plug into a hole in the top of the stick. It is still held in the soldering tweezers (and too hot to touch).

Getting here took several steps. I had to shape, solder and sand a wide bezel strip. Then I cut a base plate, slightly larger than the bezel, and soldered them together. I also had to file and sand away any excess base plate.

It's All About Fit

Of course, the bezel was sized by wrapping a strip of fine (pure) silver around the stone and cutting it to length. Fit was checked again after soldering (at which point, it is quite easy to stretch it a bit and also possible to cut out a bit and re-solder it shut to make it smaller). Here, as you can see, the fit is just fine, the excess base plate has been removed, and I am about to use that burnisher to force the top bit of bezel silver over the edge of the stone. The mounting post is sitting in a hole in my bench pin (very handy for stability at this stage).

Gild That Lily With a Sterling Collar

When I got the stone set atop the stick, I decided it required something more so I created a fine silver collar to mount below the top of the piece. This is not a great photo but it does show the finished item. I think that collar is just right. Now, if our grey skies will brighten soon, I can photograph this for my etsy shop.