ScrapHappy – October 2021

There’s quite a bit of experimentation that goes on in my workshop. Sometimes it’s because I want to play, sometimes it’s because I’ve got a new tool, but mostly it’s because I need to learn or practice a new technique

I’ve a commission ongoing where my customer requested a textured bezel. The bezel (as I’m sure you know) is the wall of metal that holds the stone in place. There are lots of different ways to create texture on metal, from running it through a mill with something patterned, to heating it and reticulating it, to beating texture in – either by laying it on something with an interesting texture, or using the hammer / punch to impart the texture.

With a bezel, there’s the fragility of the stone to factor in, and as I’ve not created textured bezels before (my customer knows this!), I tried two different techniques, both of which created very small bits of scrap silver

Here’s what I did with one of the small pieces.

I’d begun with a strip of fine (99.9) silver that was 1mm in thickness and 6mm in width.

By the time I had rolled it down to 0.8mm and hammered in the texture it was 20 mm longer than it began and 15mm longer than I needed

Not long enough for a pendant, but ideal for some delicate studs

I had some gold leaf scraps from my keum-boo* projects, so I took those and applied them to the textured surface of the rectangle of metal

Then I used the mitre vise to square up the ends and verniers to measure the width to mark out where I needed to divide (using a saw and file) to create a pair of squares.

I soldered some stud posts to the back with ‘easy’ solder (the solder with the lowest temperature melting point**) flipping the studs over whilst still hot and rubbing the gold back on to ensure the bond between the pure metals was secure

Finally, I pickled them and popped them into my little mitre vise to beat in some more texture and give them a very slight dome before dropping them in Betty-The-Barrel for a tumble and polish

Here they are – a birthday gift – with the two test bezels. A gorgeous purple flash labradorite and a not so gorgeous amazonite from my practice stash of stones I’d picked up right back at the beginning of my silversmithing journey when I expected to damage more than I successfully set

**lowest melting point of ‘assay quality silver solder’ – there are solders with lower melting points but they have a lower proportion of silver so I don’t like to use them in jewellery

*Video of the keum-boo process here over on my v v unprofessional YouTube channel, an earlier post explaining the process here

About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
This entry was posted in Challenge, Gems, Keum-Boo, processes, resources, ScrapHappy, silver, Tech Tip, UltraLite, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to ScrapHappy – October 2021

  1. I love those studs – so pretty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    Oh gosh, as always your work leaves me drooling, I especially love the purple one, and the studs are just perfect as a piece of scrappy gorgeousness!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. writinghouse says:

    Wow, just fantastic! And Happy Scrapping with the most expensive of materials too! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I love the way you find a use for tiny scraps of precious silver. Those studs are beautiful (as are the pendants).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dvberkom says:

    Lovely work, as usual 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the studs are charming, Are you going to make more and put them for sale on-line?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rutigt says:

    Beautiful jewellery!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. claire93 says:

    no idea how much gold leaf costs, but yes, every speckle needs to be used ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • interestingly, one tiny piece about 4x2cm now costs almost as much as a whole book of 18 leaves about 10x10cm did in 1992 when I bought it for bookbinding. At that time (when
      was a student) it was close to a week’s rent, but then I was buying retail, now I’m buying trade 😉


  9. I hadn’t heard of amazonite before, I think it’s stunning and I think the pendant you made for that piece is perfect for it. Your work is really beautiful, how anyone has the skill to do that kind of thing is completely beyond me!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. acflory says:

    The purple pendant is lovely. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love how you emphasize doing something you are passionate about.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. All the pieces are beautiful, and I am in awe of how much work goes into each one! I cannot imagine doing any task that required such concentration and fine motor skills. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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