Monday, May 18, 2009

Better late than never??

How about 'snafu Sunday' on Monday??? I just can't seem to get to the computer consistently on the weekends and this weekend ever moreso due to a little medical episode (more on that later).

The first Snafu I have been meaning to capture is one that I seem to encounter far too often (but I'm learning).

I'll call it:

Soldering too close for comfort.

The gist of it is this - you create a beautiful bezel, you've sized it just right and painstakingly soldered it to a backplate in JUST the right spot. Next you use your artistic flair to design around the bezel, maybe some granules or wire embellishments. You work had to make sure everything is positioned just right, up tight against the bezel so when you push it over th stone there won't be any gaps. You clean and polish and maybe even give it a patina. Now you're on to stone setting. The stone goes in, you begin to burnish the bezel over, so proud that you sized it all just right, moving along working catty-corner or cross and back when all of a sudden...

errrrrrrrr, grrrp. You hit a snag.

Your lovely embellishments are now a roadblock between you and a perfectly polished smooth bezel. You may end up with something like this:

My fix, if I'm lucky and I'm really thinking ahead a few steps - is to gently tilt the bezel over prior to soldering on those balls or wires. Then the bezel and the balls won't be soldered together.

But what if you already soldered it all and now you can't get your bezel burnished properly? Well, you can try to go in there with the finest sawblade you have and gently separate them.

Or you can try - CAREFULLY - a thin knifeblade or razor (at your own risk).

I used a think knifeblade to get down in the space next to these, just enough that I could then tilt the knife in towards the stone just slightly moving the bezel. Just enough to hold it.

I'm afraid there was nothing I could do with the ones at the bottom. :(

Got a solution for this type of Snafu? Leave a comment or email me your "soldering too close for comfort" solutions - I'll gather all the responses to include in the next Snafu Sunday post.


I had a chance last night to fiddle a bit. . . yep, all weekend and no bench til last night. I wish I could say it was all fun and games, but I can't. I had a little medical scare Friday night. It began at work on Friday with what I thought was an atypical migraine. It was worse than usual though so I stayed at work late (on a FRIDAY!) thinking I may feel better...I never did so I finally left at about 5:40 and drove home. Got out at home and weaved and wobbled up the driveway - was quite dizzy which is very unusual. Head splitting I went to lay down for a bit before I had to take all the fundraiser stuff up to the ball field. Fell asleep - kind of fitfully - got up at 7:45, made my way downstairs, unsteady, sat at the table and proceded to speak gibberish. Only lasted about 10-15 minutes, but its consistent with a TIA. I felt like crud most of the day Saturday though I went to baseball practice and then the soccer game with little guy. Relaxed all afternoon and evening though - began feeling more normal yesterday.

Have a doctor's appt later today. Maybe it was just a way freaky atypical migraine....but I need to let someone else diagnose it.

fold formed, sterling, tourmaline pendant by metalsmith janice fowler
Anyway, from the bench last night - and these were just taken quick....didn't do a lot with lighting or anything...

This is the little fold formed sterling piece with the tourmaline now set in it. The piece needs polishing in a major way.

sterling and parrot wing pendant by metalsmith janice fowler
Pendant - sterling and fine silver and a stone -- maybe a chysocolla with malachite. (?)

Needs a chain - probably some plain chain and beady links in there...not sure yet where I want to go with that. I drilled holes in the top ends for rings of some sort.

pendant in progress by metalsmith janice fowler, strling, ocean jasper, carnelian

The next two are still WIPs.

First is ocean jasper and carnelian in sterling. Tube bail on back. Stones need to be set.

work in progress, fabricated sterling necklace, bead links, ocean jasper, citrine, hand fabricated by metalsmith janice fowler

Then that pesky necklace...

I sized down the bezels so the stones are ready to go in for good.....just need a final polishing and the chain needs to be finished.

And then MAYbe some LOS.



  1. That necklace is going to look fab - I reckon some LOS would make that texture (and the beads) stand out even more. Liking it!
    Cool pendants - in particular the ocean jasper swirly one, gorgeous.
    I've never bezel set anything - but maybe you could just add a small disc (a bit like the fold formed one above) but with some more of those balls on - and just cold connect it (or solder it) over the top of that little bit as a kind of coverup?

    Get your head sorted out (I mean that in the nicest way Janice)! What is TIA?

    Can't wait to see what you make with that felting wool.......:)

  2. omgosh that little corner is such a meanie! I would have taken the stone back out and tried to fix it, I am so OCD!!!
    Okay, now you're scaring me! I hope you did not have a TIA!!! Someone in my family who I would have never dreamed of having one did so 2 years ago on New Years, hubby and I rang in the new year at a very well equipped hospital in D.C. Since then all check ups are normal, but it still remnids me how fragile we all are! Please take good care Janice!!!
    btw almost forgot I LORVE your pieces, and I LORVE that you put a rivet in one of them.

  3. Gougeous necklaces and thanks for showing the works in progress too :)
    Nicola x

  4. Haw many times have I done that, let me count the ways. Your necklaces are the last one.

  5. Take care of yourself, dear girl....I looked up TIA and it sounds scary. I hope you did get to the doctor.
    Your jewelry is absolutely gorgeous.


  6. Hi all ! Thanks!!!

    Carolyn, I did take the stone out! But that bezel is completely fused to the balls. :( Grrrr.


    I've been to the doctor now, had some bloodwork, and have an MRI set for tomorrow morning. I'm thinking it very well may have been a TIA, but then again, it could easily be a combination of other health issues (migraine, diabetes) that aren't well controlled right now. So I'm determined to get everything situated and back on track!