Bezel Set Your Sea Glass -- Beyond Wire Wrapping! | Leigh Griffin | Skillshare

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Bezel Set Your Sea Glass -- Beyond Wire Wrapping!

teacher avatar Leigh Griffin, Sea Glass Jewelry Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Intro Bezel Set Sea Glass

    • 2. Materials and Supplies

    • 3. Bezel

    • 4. Soldering Bezel

    • 5. Tip for testing your bezel fit

    • 6. Sawing and bail

    • 7. Setting and finishing

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About This Class

Make a sea glass pendant so you can wear a souvenir of your beach vacation all year! 

Sea glass provides a unique challenge when making jewelry.  It's not calibrated (like a stone) so you have to make your own setting, and it can be round, but sea glass often is more free-form.  If you have some experience soldering then this class is the perfect opportunity to practice and step up those soldering skills. We'll learn to make a bezel that will protect the edges of your sea glass, keep it securely set on the pendant, and give your jewelry a polished, professional look.   

These skills will also transfer to making bezels for other found objects and for free-form stones.  


Meet Your Teacher

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Leigh Griffin

Sea Glass Jewelry Artist


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1. Intro Bezel Set Sea Glass: hi and welcome my studio. My name is Lee Griffin, and I'm a jewelry artist and a teacher living in Raleigh, North Carolina, have been making Jordan for years and have been focusing on making sea glass jewelry for about the last eight years. In this class, we're gonna learn how to best set of piece of sea glass and make a pendant that you can wear on a chain or board. The techniques that we use in this class will also trinkets for Massetti stones or found objects that don't have a regular, calibrated shape or size. So let's get started and take a look at the materials you'll need to make this project. 2. Materials and Supplies: 3. Bezel: hi and welcome back to making a sea glass pendant. I live in the Southern US, so the sandy beaches around here give me see glass that looks more like this then this. So the piece I'm going to use is the stuff that I usually find around here and that I've gotten used to working with This particular piece has a slight curve to it, but that's okay because it's still when I put it like this, it'll still lay mostly flat and give me a nice way to Benzel said it. When I was choosing the basil wire to use for this piece of sea glass, I decided to go with 3/16 of an inch. Find silver bez a wire instead of 18 inch find so better wire. And the reason I chose the 3/16 is because when this the 18 inch comes around, it gets really close to going underneath part of this piece of sea glass. So that means it's gonna be a little difficult for me to set and, uh, difficult to get it to stay still to start forming the vessel. I've taken 3/16 inch pencil wire, and I just wrap it around the pizza sea glass so that it's gonna give a fairly snug fit, but also allowed some room for me to adjust and maybe make sure the ends of the vessel are flat. Once I get that part done, I take my scribe and make a little mark where the to overlap right here. Maybe I could get my fingers out of the way. Were the two pieces overlap? Now I've got a really faint little line. Oh, there. But I can see where I've made my mark. Then, to finish it, I open it back up, I take my scissors and cut a straight line. Then I've got to make sure that the two pieces the two ends rather will meet up. I take my pliers, just kind of mash it all flat again and work it back and forth so that it meets up. Next thing we're gonna do, you're gonna put some flux on this and we're gonna slaughter 4. Soldering Bezel : all right. Previously, I had made a mark with my scribe on my bed, a wire and I cut it. And then I have lined up to two pieces of two sides. Intention kind of holds them together. I've also put some flux on the fine metal civil on the fine silver basil wire. I've also cut little pieces of hard sauder. I always start with hard Sauder because each different sauder melts at a different temperature or flows at a different temperature. So as I progressed through making the pendant, the last pieces of Sauder, the last type of sauder that I will use will be easy Sauder. So I don't want the better wire toe open up. And that's why I used the one that has the hottest melting point, the highest flow point first. And that's the hard Sauder. There's several ways of doing this. You can use a pick and ball up your sauder, and then he would just take the ball Salter and place it right on the joint. The other thing you can do is turn it sideways and put the psalter. There's your your hazard right there. Put the psalter right there on the joint. But what I like to do the very easiest way for me to do it is to take my piece of solder and I line it up. It's that the bez a water set the joint right on the peace of slaughter. If you look closely right there, there's the little chip of Sauder and I've got it lined up directly underneath the scene right here. So what will happen is that when I heat my Salter when I turn on my plane and started heating, the psalter will flow up that joint and close it all in completely. The other thing you need to be aware of. It's just like when your soldering everything you need to sort her all the way around the beds, a wire, not just here at the joint. The heat needs to be all the way around. And even so I'm a readjust days and starts altering. All right, now I've got my torch going. I've got Muff Lane and I'm gonna just it down a little bit. I just like that. So I explain better for the heat. What jumped off with their okay. So, like I said, I'm going to heat my bustle all the way around. And when the flocks turns clear and bubbles, that's that's your signal, your visual signal that it's gonna flow. Just keep going and it will jump up the joint and seal up the basil eventually there. Then, as with any time you're sorry, I'm gonna take my copper tones, put it in the quench ball, and then I'm gonna put it in the pickle pot, Get it all nice and clean for the next step. Okay, so I've got my better wire out of the pickle. It's all clean. And now what I need to do is reshape it around the piece of single s. You see, it's gotten a little distorted from me working with it and from sauntering and moving it around. So are you, Do do you just reshape it? You want it toe have its final shape because the next step is to sauder it to the big piece of silver. That's gonna be the back of dependent. The other important thing is to make sure that you're better wire since flat on the backing all this over back on the sheet. And the reason for that is because Like I said, with the bez a wire Sauder doesn't fill in gaps. It joins the two pieces of metal together, So this is the next step to get in our pendant. We want to make sure that after we've reshaped the Benzel that are sea glass or whatever we're using goes in and out of the basil very easily. That'll be a big help, because once it sought or down, it's really hard to adjust when you're trying to set the the sea glass. OK, now it's time to actually sought or the Benzel onto the plate or the backing. I made sure that when I cut my silver back that I had plenty of room around the Benzel. The reason for that is because Salter flows towards the heat. So I want to make sure I've got plenty of room. Teoh heat the outside portions of this, so we're sheet and I don't want my I don't want to heat just from the top because the little pieces of Sauder Road flow or jump up the better wire and not give a good connection . So I'm gonna go ahead and saw her this and then we'll move on to our next step. All right, I've got my bez als set up. I've got my floods, I've got everything flexed and I've got my sauder lined up around the benzel. So the next step is to fire at my torch and to get going sauntering the benzel to the back sheet. I don't know if I've got any helpful hints for the size of the flame. It's something that you'll get with experience. But the good thing about using flux, like I've said before, the flux gives you a visual signal when you're metals all getting hot and the Sauder is getting ready to blow. Also, I'm trying to stay very careful and just heat the outside and not the top of the Benzel. I know the flame is gonna go over the top of the vessel, but that's not really my goal. But if I keep heating slowly and carefully around on the silverback, it will flow and give me the results I'm looking for. The only helpful hint I have is be patient, Okay, You can see where it's starting to flow now, and I'm just gonna keep going around and around to make sure that it goes all the way around and connects all the Benzel in all the places. As far as making jewelry goes, this is the stage where it's kind of ugly. The flux has done its job, but it's just all dark from the fire. We've got some things that look nasty, but we're going to still do. What we always do is that I'm gonna take this, put it in the quench ball and then put it in the pickle pot. 5. Tip for testing your bezel fit: I just realized that here's a little tip for you after you've got everything made in your checking your your setting to make sure that it that the sea glass is going to go in easily and that you're not it's not me to lose. But next part is that you can't get it back out if you made a really good fit. So a lot of people like to put some dental floss or something under it so that you can easily pop it out. The thing that I like to use instead of the dental floss is the setting wags. You just pull it out or just stick it, lift up your stun looked up your Steve glass very easily like that, and it washes off with soap and water. 6. Sawing and bail: Okay, so my soldering is done. The best. Soliz. Sorry to the Silverback. And so now I'm gonna cut it out. Cut the excess. So we're back away. So what I'm gonna do, my final design is just going to being the actual outline of the vessel and with the sea glass sitting in it. And then I'm also going to take the pizza silver tubing and used that cut a small piece of that attached to the top and make that my bail. So I'm gonna try to saw as quickly as possible, but I'm probably going to cut out a lot of this video, so just be bored. All right? Start sewing. Okay. So I sold away the back, and this is totally design choice for you. You can a lot of people like to cut out the back so the light comes through the sea glass Sometimes that's a really nice look. This peak piece of C glasses particularly transparent. And I'm afraid if I do that, there'll be a lot of contrast you'll be actually able to like, see, the more you're seeing where I've cut back out against the skin and I'm not really sure that That's what I want for my look. So I've done a little bit of filing to clean up my style marks cause I'm not the best sour in the world. I also cut a piece of sober, too. And I'm gonna attack that probably up here to make the bail, and that's where my chain or quarter whatever will go through. But first, before I do that soldering, I'm gonna take some silicon wheels and use my flat shaft to finish smoothing. That's out because filing is not my favorite thing to do. 7. Setting and finishing: okay. I attached the bail I polished up were filed down most of the Sol marks. I'm gonna do my final polish after I set the sea glass. Because the best pushers make more marks. You can also make your own sanding stick or use a sanding stick. I've got a really fine grit sandpaper on here, but it gives a nice polish without making it early. Shiny. So the final step is to set the C class. So I've got it all set in there. City mostly level. Like we said before. Probably need toe fall down this little bit up in here. It's a little high, a little high above the sea glass, so I wouldn't do that, and then I'll come back and sure you have a set. The sea glass. Okay, I'm ready to start setting now. I used several tools for setting. I like using the vessel rocker the burnish. Er, sometimes I need to use a problem pusher. So we're just gonna use what I normally start with, which is the metal tools. And I started studying sea glass like you start setting us done. You want to push in the four sides kind of like, the compass points toe help start holding it in. So most started the bottom here and then the top. This is gonna be the tight squeeze place. You can see that what I'm doing there. Well, lock in, decide and again over here. Like when you start getting points or wrinkles or places that you're not happy with. You just have to keep working that around and around. A lot of people like to start with the corners. This particular piece, um, kind of hard to really saying where the corners are, but you just keep working it around and pushing that Basilan and over so that it starts folding in your sea glass. You have to go around it several times, start pushing into sides, and the last part you're gonna do is actually push the top over the sea glass. Teoh, make sure that it's held in. But if you get the sod snuck, then that would go a long way towards holding it in. - Now I'm starting to move up around the sides where the top rather this top part really isn't moving in as much of the others because that's where I put the bail. So I'm just going kind of use my bar, Disher, because it has the mirror point kind of percent in a little bit. Trauma. Prom. Push a little bit to get that over. Foreman over the top. Sometimes you really have to work it. Work it. Sorry. So I'm about halfway done right now. Someone take a break, rest my hand a little bit and come back and finish it. Okay, Now, I have finished doing the city. I've used my Benzel pusher or visual Bensel rocker falsities my burnish her and to give it a little bit of extra smoothing and extra polishing. I used my silicon polishing wheels. The pink one gives really nice shine. Kind of like the burnished or does so now the next step is to just put it on a chain in aware this baby. Okay. - All right. I'm gonna put mine on a silver chain. I don't have my class for it yet, but that's very easy to do next. If you don't want to use its over chain or you don't have a class just hanging on a silk cord, a leather cord whenever you want. Just enjoy making something special. with your sea glass. Like I said earlier, there's lots of different ways to make a bail. I'm working with a lot of silver tube right now, but if you don't want yours bale right up against dependent against the sea glass for the vessel, there's other ways to do it like this. Stop, for instance. I've taken another piece of tube, but I've also added some square wire to it to give it a little bit of separation. You can also use a longer piece of tubing that I'll give you another different look. You can also use to being end a combination of tubing and jump rings like this or angle the the to be in a different way like this. And then, of course, to Penny known your skill level in your design choices. You can also just drill a hole or two or however me do you want, and it's sort of jumping and make yourself a pendant like that. So, once again, thanks for watching. I hope you've learned something and send me picture so that we can have a little discussion and see what you've done