On my bench this week!

Posted by Robyn Anderson on Thursday, May 14, 2015 Under: Stone Setting
It has been a creative week in the studio. I received some gorgeous labradorite teardrops recently and made this ring a few weeks ago. Earrings and a pendant design started to emerge in my head.

I made some fine silver balls and stamped them with these flower images to use as embellishments for the earrings and pendant. Dental floss is a must when checking the fit of the stones!

It has taken me a long time to be confident about soldering posts onto the back of earrings. I am sorry I didn't take more photos to show you the process I use. Using a ball bur, I make a small indent on the earring back where the post will go. The earring back is then fluxed and a small chip of solder placed in the indent. Then I prepare the post. I cut approx 15mm piece of 19g round silver wire and file one end flat and place the wire in a pair of cross locking tweezers ready to be moved into the solder when the time comes. With my torch, I slowly heat up the plate until the solder runs. Right at that moment I move the post into position, keeping the flame moving a little longer to be sure the solder runs right around the base of the post. It is a good idea to check if post is secure. This process really scared me when I first triedt it but it is the best way. You don't want the post to fall off after wearing the earrings a few times. Hold the end of the post in a pair of pliers and the earring back in the other hand and twist one complete turn. This work hardens the wire and if the post doesn't come away, you can be assured of a strong solder join. I trim my post to approx 12mm and file and smooth the ends. They will end up approx 11mm.

If you look closely at the stones you will notice that one is deeper than the other. This will be very noticeable when the stones are set because the bezel wall will cover more of one stone than the other. My method for fixing this is to cut a similar shape teardrop from 28g fine silver to place inside the setting. This lifts the stone to the perfect height.

Setting the stones on post earrings can be difficult. The best way I have found is to drill a hole through the bench peg for the earring post to sit in. This keeps it safe from bending. You may want to drill several holes to allow good access to all sides of the bezel.

The stones in the pendant are moonstone, prehnite and labradorite to match the earrings.

I added some silver balls as well as the stamped flower embellishment and a fine silver bail.

Here is the set after a final polish.

Thanks for following along my journey! I am very happy to answer any questions you might have :)

In : Stone Setting 

Tags: "stone setting"  "soldering earring posts"  "setting stones"  "labradorite pendant and ring"