Someone asked me for a live demo. I don’t think that that is going
Some time ago, I learned that buying heads and sticking them
together made for some really repulsive pieces of jewelry. Mind you,
I have made some pretty nasty pieces, but I try to get better all of
When I make a head with a square bezel block, I start by dapping out
a hemisphere. No solder joints to shear, just a solid rolled and
dapped piece of metal. I then use a 2lb sledge or a two ton press
with a sledge to punch that hemisphere into a square hole in the
block. when I can get it no further into the hole, I take it to the
next size down. A flange will develop at the lip of my forming
pyramid. I just use some snips to trim that off and continue to the
next hole and the next until I am at the size that I need. I will
probably have annealed the pyramid a couple of times by this point.
Now I will use the punch on to to crispen the corners and thin out
the metal some. This shape can be used as a solid bezel. It can also
be used as a bearing and undercarriage for a basket setting. It just
needs a slot cut into each side to provide an airline. With the
corners flattened with a file, tapered wire prong can be sodered on
and we have a basket head.
Perfect symmetry and a minimum of solder. An additional plus is the
quality of the metal. Very easy to make a rectangular shaped head by
cutting down the pyramid before shaping.
Trying to carve these by hand in wax is not a quick job. Trying to
solder the parts all together even by using several grades of solder
can be a nightmare. I don’t investment solder on my bench.
A bezel die and punch costs about $65 to a hundred bucks. I have two
squares (different tapers), a round and an oval. Hardly a thousand