Monday, October 27, 2014

Soldered Wire Prong Bezels

On Saturday, I went up to Sue Sachs studio to take a bezel workshop.  This wasn't just any bezel workshop, it was on setting stones that were unusually shaped.  I asked specifically for this workshop because I have a large collection of cabochons and flatbacks that aren't round or oval.
Sue had a selection of samples laid out for us, including this massive wire prong bezel pendant.  Right away I knew I was going to make a bezel using this technique.  
I brought my entire collection of crystal and fossil cabochons with me but ultimately decided I would set this pretty quartz piece.  I also used the sterling silver wire I already had on hand, which included 16 gauge and 20 gauge (I would not use 20 gauge in the future though as it would need to be work-hardened to be secure).  I do plan to add 18 and 14 gauge to my supplies in the near future.
The first step was to create a base that I would then attach all the prongs to.  I used the 16 gauge wire for this.  Once the ends were filed, I soldered the wire together.
I then cut several lengths of 20 gauge wire and created balled headpins to use as the prongs.
I eyeballed the length of the headpins and cut them down in size and soldered the first two onto the base.
Then the final two prongs were measured and soldered on.
I noticed along the way I must have goofed and I had to flip the base around.  Oops.  But it was still going to work!
I went with a simple arch for the bail.  I also realized at this point that the bezel looked kind of like a baby reaching out to be held.  Hehe.
I gave the bezel a Liver of sulfur bath and then I slid the quartz in and folded the prongs over.  

This was an easy and fun way to set a stone!  Colin is going to finish getting my torch set up in the workshop so that I can begin making these at home.  

What's your favorite way to set unusually-shaped stones?

Happy Beading!

Diana P.


  1. sounds like a great technique, thanks for sharing

  2. Great post Diana, I am looking forward to seeing the bezels that you create.

  3. I like that! Very unique and gorgeous!

  4. Beautiful! You make it looks easy but I know it is not that easy. -

  5. I like to use this setting for unusual shaped stones as well. You can substitute all different kinds and shapes of prongs for the balled wire prongs too

  6. Thanks for sharing this, I do like the look of these wire prong bezels - I really should have a go at one!

  7. Simple but beautiful piece of jewelry :)

  8. Cool design idea, but I would solder another ring to connect the prongs all together. If I can take the stone out of a setting with my hands, I don't consider it done. Depending on the stone it could be double-sided too!


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