Wednesday 23 July 2014

Custom Setting a Gemstone

While I was at the Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts I had a wonderful conversation with a lady named Sharon.  She was very interested in the different techniques for capturing gemstones in jewellery settings, eventually showing me an Agate slice she owned with a very unusual but striking shape

The gemstone was acquired many years ago and represented what were clearly some very special memories.  Though Sharon had owned the Agate all this time, she had not been able to find the right setting, nor the right person to pay tribute to those memories

Agate Slice
2 1/4 x 1 3/8 x 1/8 inches (at widest point)

After some further discussion around potential settings Sharon asked if I would wire wrap the stone for her.  I was extremely honoured and touched to be trusted to turn this special stone into jewellery for her and eagerly accepted.  We discussed metal types, chains vs cord options and clasps and signed off on a custom order form

After sketching a dozen designs and constructing about 4 of them, I finally realized that wire wrap was not the best setting.  The wires over the top of the stone did not hold properly, at least not without interrupting the natural colour lines in the stone

My thoughts went to bezel settings but I was concerned the bezel back would take away from the beautiful translucent look of the stone, until it occurred to me that I could go with an open back bezel!

Now the cord and clasp are completed and it goes into the mail tomorrow.  Here is a pictorial of the very organic bezel that I made for Sharon’s very special Agate slice  

Sharon, I hope you like the results

Bezel Pattern
The inked line at the top represents the top of the Agate

Brass pieces after bezel was cut out

Patina applied and ready for fitting

Checking the Fit

Locked in Place – Front View

Locked in Place – Back View (Despite the
appearance the bezel fits flat on the back)


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