When Life Hands You a Lemon, Make Lemonade…


When the going gets tough, the tough get creative! This bangle was supposed to have six set stones. The bangle, made from 18 gauge sterling silver strip wire, had been hammer textured, six bezels had been soldered onto the band, it had been darkened using Liver of Sufur, and I’d already set two freeform rose cut Aqua Marine and Citrine gemstones. Everything was going so smoothly until the tourmaline gemstone I was setting into the third bezel cracked. I looked through my stash for another stone that might fit and found one that was close enough in size, but extremely delicate and thin. To accommodate the stone, I filed the bezel to a very shallow depth. So far, so good I thought. I picked up the tiny stone and “Butterfingers” me…it literally flew from my hand. I looked high and low, but like a needle in a haystack, I have no idea where it landed and I gave up after searching for an hour. Since I’d already set the other two stones, I couldn’t solder a new bezel onto the bangle.Back to the drawing board! Fortunately the shape of the the filed down bezel would 
accommodate something fairly round. After contemplating several ideas, my solution was to cut out a small circular disc from 24 gauge bronze sheet and then hammer it into a domed shape. With some filing and sanding along the edge of the bronze, it fit into the shallow bezel perfectly! Fortunately, setting the remaining 3mm round stones went without any glitches and I’m really pleased with the results. In fact, I think I like the bronze dome better than the original stone I had intended to use!

~ by BarbaraBriggsDesigns on March 12, 2021.

4 Responses to “When Life Hands You a Lemon, Make Lemonade…”

  1. Barbara,

    I make copper tubing bracelets sometimes and I have the same mandrel that you have in the picture. Do you have yours anchored down in some way to make it easier to work with? I haven’t figured that out yet. I tried holding it with a large c-clamp but I couldn’t get it good enough to stay put.

    Thanks in advance for your help 😊 Paula J Clouse

    On Fri, Mar 12, 2021, 8:12 AM Barbara Briggs Designs wrote:

    > BarbaraBriggsDesigns posted: ” When the going gets tough, the tough get > creative! This bangle was supposed to have six set stones. The bangle, made > from 18 gauge sterling silver strip wire, had been hammer textured, six > bezels had been soldered onto the band, it had been darkened usi” >

    Like

    • I don’t have my tiny anvil anchored down, but I use it for lightweight work so haven’t had a problem with it moving…I placed the bangle on it for the photo shoot only. For forming bangles, I have a large, upright round bracelet mandrel that I usually lie sideways with my bench pin and the edge of my bench supporting it while I form and texture my bangle shape.

      Like

  2. Searching high and low for a tiny object is a great way of staying in shape. The more you lose off your work table, the more flexible you become!

    Like

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