I've found a way to not only put a little color behind a somewhat
translucent stone but also cushion and raise the stone if it's got a
low dome. It's Premo. It's similar to Fimo but fimo is much stiffer
and harder to work with than premo.
This is what I do: First I form the bezel around the stone (I like a
really tall bezel.... much taller than the stone should have) and I
solder the bezel together. Next, I stick a small bit of premo inside
and then in goes the stone. I add or take away premo from the
underside until the stone is an acceptable height for the bezel.
Then, I bake the whole thing in a dedicated toaster oven. Premo
bakes at a rediculously low temperature...around 200 degrees or so. I
don't know if I'd try it with an opal, but I've done it with
turquoise and all kinds of harder stones with no negative results. I
usually underbake the premo so it's nice and soft, but not squishy.
It makes a wonderful "orthotic" for your stone and allows you to
boost your stone up higher for more visibility. Ok, so after it comes
out of the toaster oven, I let it cool and then I'm able to pop the
stone and the formed piece of premo "orthotic" out of the bezel.....
file off any edges on the orthotic that might make it difficult to
reinsert when it's time to set the stone and continue with soldering
the bezel to its base, etc.
I've been doing this for two years and have been really happy with
the results. I suppose you could use any color of premo to add more
color to a dull stone..... or perhaps PUT color behind a clear piece
of quartz! If you want really funky pearlescent premo, add some
pearl-ex pigments to it...... or if you're into "clubwear" jewelry,
use glow in the dark premo behind a fairly clear stone and your work
will glow under the black lights!
I hope this helps,
Mary Amalia Jewelry