Problem soldering small cloisons

How do you hold all the small cloisons in a piece like this for soldering? These are the small plates that bound the inset stones around the perimeter of the piece. Difficult using friction fit and wire. Better method?

Are they stones or is it enameled?

Knowing where and when the piece is from would help in determining the technique. That said, I’d suspect the border is pierced rather than assembled from wires.

Possible. But, if I wanted to solder those cloisons, does anyone have any experience that would help?


i am just curious, are you thinking of setting square stones?…enamel?…resin?

if i was going to attempt solder method…i would…tension fit?…pierce slots to slot the dividing metal into?

maybe i would carve in wax…?

or, i would probably pierce, as suggested in above post…not straight down…but rather beveled…like cutting azures under stone seats…

here is an article in Ganoksin, on different methods of cutting azures

here is pic from the article showing the backside of a brooch pin…it has open gallery work as well…but just to give you an idea


Thx Julie.

In looking at the picture, I think maybe the piece is made out of 24 kt gold. I wish it could be blown up a little more. On the bottom, it looks like there is an indent in the outer ring, perhaps used to space the pieces. But if this is 24 kt, the easiest way to construct it would be to create the inner and outer rings, place the stones and small pieces of wire and then burnish the rings very slightly over the stones and wires. If you were absolutely determined to solder this, it seems the easiest way would be to insert your small pieces in charcoal and butt the bezel wire to it and solder away. Then, this piece could be curved round and the other piece soldered to the little wires on the other side. It would be challenging, especially for folks like me who kinda suck at soldering. It appears to be a very old piece, which is why I was saying charcoal, but soldering investment could be used to hold the wires in place also.

Yes, I am planning on setting stones.

I just had a thought…if you frequent Instagram, you might be interested in checking out John Meszaros page


he shows a lot of his work in progress, and he fabricates many of his multi stone settings, starting from a thick sheet of metal, and burring the stone seats, and then cutting out the eventual shape, and adding prongs and such after…perhaps for a visual of a concept similar to what you are working on.


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Julie, Thanks again. His skill and craftsmanship is impressive. I saw one technique setting small pieces in plasticine, covering with investment and then soldering that I can use.

Plain plaster of Paris works well; you don’t need to purchase investment just for this.
Keep in mind that plasticene is oil based and when heated will leave a greasy carbon residue. You must take care to clear out all the plasticene from between the pieces before you put it in the fire or it will keep the solder from flowing. The end of a broken sawblade works well to get into the small spaces where bits of plasticene may stick.

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Thx Elliot. I think maybe a water based clay. I also throw pots.

It’s enamel not stones. They are all totally irregular trapezoids–not squares or rectangles–whereas all the dividing walls are the same thickness.

Janet in Jerusalem