Stone Donut With Gem Set Bail
|I love these stone donuts. I wanted to make a bail that would enhance them without obscuring too much of the stone. This is what I came up with. This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of metal clay technique.|
PMC 3 paste
shaping tools - roller, cards, tissue blade, paint brushes, emery boards, needle tool, files, texture sheet or rubber stamp
40-50mm stone donut
8mm calibrated gemstone cab
8mm fine silver round bezel cup
5mm fine silver round bezel cup
1/4" 5mm sterling tubing
800 grit wet dry sandpaper
finishing tools - wire brush, burnishers or tumbler
Stone setting tools - stone pusher and curved burnisher
Roll out some clay 2 cards thick. Cut a 1" circle and a 1 5/8" oval.
Roll out some more clay 2 cards thick and apply texture with a texture sheet or rubber stamp.
Roll the end of the oval over and 8mm rod (I use a glass lampworking rod). Allow the clay to dry.
Using a curved file, adjust the hole in the 3/4" circle so the the 8mm bezel fits loosely.
Apply paste to the back of the 3/4" circle and moisten the front of the 1" circle with water.
Center the 3/4" circle on top of the 1" circle.
Dip the 8mm bezel cup in the paste...
...and set in the hole in the 3/4" circle. Allow to dry.
Sand the 1" untextured circle and the oval bail piece smooth and apply paste to the back of the oval. Moisten the front of the circle with water...
...and set the bail piece on the circle. I have added quality marks (both 999 and 925 since I am using some sterling in my piece) and one of my signature rounds (see my signature tag tutorial for instructions). Allow to dry and fire at 1650 degrees for 2 hours. Tumble polish or burnish by hand.
Apply a small dab of Solder Fast for Silver to the back of the bail piece...
..and center the silver tube on it.
Set on the edge of a hot plate set on high and heat until the solder melts.* Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area - the fumes from the solder can be toxic. (Of course you can do this step with a torch if you prefer).
*Hint: this is a great way to easily attach posts to earrings :)
Now this is where you can finish in two different ways.
Easy method: Solder the 5mm bezel cup to the back of the textured circles using the method described above. If you are using the easy method you could use a piece of fired pmc tubing instead of the sterling - it just has to fit in the 5mm bezel cup and extend from the backplate through the stone donut.
Place the polymer clay donut around the sterling tube.
Traditional method: Place the stone donut on the sterling tube, set the textured circles on top with the tube coming up through the bezel and rivet the tube. Set the stone in the cup over the rivet.
Easy method: Set the stone in the cup...
...and mix up some two part epoxy according to manufacturers directions. (Yes! We're really going to use the dreaded "chemical bonding agent"!! ;) Put some of the epoxy in the 5mm bezel cup and invert over the end of the sterling tube.
Allow the epoxy to set up according to manufacturers directions.
Of course you can ;)