Archive | Design

Pendant Project Part 1

Pendant Project

OK, if you have a little time, stick with me, over the next week or so I am going to take you on a journey, and at the end, we will end up in Cool-Pendant-Ville. But first, I am going to show you how to make just a small part of it, So pack your bags and let’s go!

If you are making jewelry long enough, eventually you are going to come across a project with a stone with a sharp corner, either a marquise, pear, or square shaped stone. Today I will demonstrate how I go about making a v-bezel for setting stones.
First, I find either a scrap piece of sheet silver or cut a piece off of some stock. I roll it down in my Rolling Mill to about 0.5mm and then anneal it. If you are unfamiliar with annealing, search “Anneal” on this blog, or CLICK HERE.

Bezel1 Bezel2

I then file a flat edge on one side of the silver and scribe a line approx 2.5mm away from the edge. (longer or shorter if you want longer or shorter bezels.) Once you have a line scribed, use a Square Graver or a Flat Graver at a 45 degree angle to cut a grove into the silver about 2/3 the way through the sheet. After the groove is cut, I run a Square Escapement File along the groove to make it uniform and straight.

Bezel3 Bezel4

Bezel5 Bezel6

Hold the silver sheet with a pair of Smooth Jaw Parallel Pliers with the grove even with the edge of the pliers and use a Square Prong Pusher to fold the sheet to a 45 degree (or square) angle. I also tap the silver with my Rawhide Mallet or a Plastic Head Jewelers Hammer to make sure it is seated against the other side.

Bezel7 Bezel8

Bezel9 Bezel10

Next I fluxed the solder joint with Handy Flux and add 3 pieces of small solder, spaced evenly, to the inside of the bezel. Do not use too much solder, you can always add more, but it is a pain if there is too much. I solder from the back side of the bezel with my Smith Mini Torch, to make sure the solder penetrates the solder joint.

Bezel11 Bezel12


Now measure the finished side and scribe a line along the other side the same width, and cut with your Jeweler Saw Frame. (I use a 3/0 Saw Blade) Again, you can trim the sides either longer or shorter, and use thicker or thinner silver, depending on the application you are using.

Bezel14 Bezel15


Now trim off the amount you want and solder to your stone seat or pad.

OR…. Stay tuned and see what I will do with this……
Now, go make something AMAZING!

Talking about Design Help Tools Today

Designs and Inspiration can come from many, many places.

1a Locket 01

This post is from a tutorial I did a number of years ago. I was contacted by a friend who had a friend (likely story…. friend of a friend) who had a 1800’s locket handed down from their great grandmother, and they wanted the design re-created into a set of earrings. (actually 2 different sets) This process I show though, can be used for just about anything you want to trace and re-create.

I guess the first subject to talk about at this point is starting the design. The great thing about designing jewelry is that you have a blank page, if you are making jewelry for yourself, there is no right or wrong design, it is an expression of yourself, and the only limitations are your skills, and that is what we are here to do, hone our skills. If you are making jewelry for others or for the market, then you have to take their likes and desires into consideration.

There are a number of ways to start to create jewelry, from finding an existing media and turning it into jewelry, to Computer Aided Design (CAD), wax carving, metal fabrication, Precious Metal Clays (PMC), etc. We have touched on many of these things in the past blog posts.

In this example,  let’s look at metal fabrication…… (my love language) I was sent this antique locket that the customer would like the design as an earring. If I could draw, I would do that, but alas, I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. I decided to scan the design and get it on a piece of paper. In this instance I used a CAD program to trace the design, but you can use the original picture, scaled to the size you want. I then I trimmed the image and taped it to a flat sheet of sterling silver. I took a very sharp metal scribe and traced around the outside of the picture with a series of small puncture points through the paper, just hard enough to make a mark, but not too deep.

1e Locket Earrings 01  1f Locket Earrings 02

After I traced around the design completely, I removed the paper and I have an outline on the silver. (this works on wax as well) I now pierced the silver in the center of the design with a drill bit or a ball bur, large enough to get a saw blade through. I usually use a 3/0 Saw Blade, but you can use smaller if you like, I tend to break smaller ones a lot more. after I have the piece completely cut out, I smooth the edges and saw blade marks with small “escapement” needle files and sandpaper, then polish. On other posts I get into detail on how to best file, sand, and finish pieces, but I figured we would show an easy way to get your ideas onto metal or wax.  On this piece, I heated up the piece and mounted it in Green Dop Wax to secure it while I cut it with gravers and a Foredom to give the piece more of a rounded look, but that is what the customer wanted and that is the cool thing about jewelry making, it is an expression of one’s self as well as a craft.

1g Locket Earrings 03 1j Locket Earrings 08

I molded the final silver piece, cast it in gold, polished it and set stones.

Finished Amethyst

Thanks for stopping by, I could get long and lost in all the details, but I also try to balance info with content and try to keep these posts short and to the point, I know we all have busy lives and I would like to give quick tips as opposed to long lessons.

Take care, and Go Make Something Dazzling!


How to Make a Secure Pearl Post

How to Make Pearl Post That Will “Grab”

If you make jewelry long enough, you will eventually make a piece of jewelry with a pearl or a post that will hold a glued stone to it. Here is a quick way to make sure the pearl or the stone you set will be more secure.

If you have a Rolling Mill with a grove for rolling square stock, you are ahead of the game, just roll a piece of silver down to approximately  0.7mm or so. If you don’t have a mill with those rollers with it, well here is another way to go about it.

Find a piece of sheet silver approximately 0.7mm thick and file the straightest edge flat and then scribe a line the same width as the thickness.


Now it is time to work on and perfect your sawing skills. Use your Jewelers Saw to cut along the side the line that you scribed. Take your time and cut right on the outside of the line. The straighter the cut, the less filing you will have to do. I use a Saw Blade 3/0 to cut this. Now file the edge that you just cut off and make the piece as wide as it is thick. 0.7mm in this instance.


Next it is time to anneal the small piece you just made. This piece is very small, so be careful not to overheat it in the process. Use a “bushy” flame and turn off your bench lamp. Watch the color of the silver as you  heat it, you want to aim for a dull pink color in the silver. Try to maintain this color for between 15 and 30 seconds, waving the flame (not too close) back and forth over the piece. I use a Smith Mini Torch for soldering and for annealing. Do not get it red hot!  If you do, cool your piece and start over.


Use 2 pair of pliers or a small vise and 1 pair of pliers. I prefer to use Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers, so the silver is not marred. These are same pliers I use to hold the silver while I cut it with my saw. Now twist the silver.


Next, just trim off enough to hold the pearl or stone and solder into place. I use a cup bur to finish off the end of the post, and drill a small divot, a little larger than the post, in the piece to be soldered to. The divot will give the post more contact area for the solder to attach the post to, and make a stronger solder joint. The twisted action of the post will bond the glue or epoxy to the stone much better.

Now, go make something beautiful and have a great day!


“Time Sensitive” Design Contest Details

JewelryMonk Design Contest

Have you ever had a jewelry design in your head, that you thought would be so cool, but were unsure how to get it from your head to a finished piece of jewelry? Well YOU ARE IN LUCK! …….really…….

Hey Everyone, Doug here.  I am so excited to start the 2nd JewelryMonk Design Contest! I had so much fun with the first one a few months back, that I am going to keep this going.

The first contest was all about wax carving, BUT THIS ONE IS ALL ABOUT SOLDERING AND METAL FABRICATION!  So here is what’s up with this Design Contest:

  • You design a silver piece of jewelry from the stones I suggest in the FREE Downloadable PDF
  • Keep in mind this is all about Metal Fabrication and Soldering
  • You have until March 31st, 2017, at Midnight to submit your design to
  • If You Win, You Get Design Created as a Finished Piece of Jewelry! FREE
  • If You Win, You ALSO Get a Model and a Mold so you can reproduce your design if you want. FREE
  • If You Win, You ALSO Get and a Video Series that shows you STEP-BY-STEP how the piece was created. FREE
    • Video Series will cover: Design – The Layout – Metal Fabrication and Cleanup – Rubber Mold Making – Wax Sizing – Casting the Production Piece – Grinding – Tumbling – Pre-Polishing – Stone Setting – and Final Polishing. The Theme of this video series will be Metal Fabrication and Soldering, using the winning design as an example.
  • Make sure to Subscribe, so you can follow along the process. I will be releasing videos and tips along the way!
  • Share with your friends…….

So here is what you do.

Click the Download button below and get the Design Rules, Stones, and all the Details.  After that, come up with a design and send it to me at

That Simple. My team and I will select 1 winner and announce it soon after the deadline of March 31st.

Now, don’t feel like you are not “Qualified” to submit a design. You do not have to be a jewelry designer to enter. If you can do a CAD drawing, a pencil sketch, or just a crayon sketch, that is all I need.  My career has been creating jewelry from designs, everything from complex computer designs, to “scratch paper and napkin designs”. I have an eye for this. We will not make our decision on the design sketch quality, but criteria set up by our team for this project. So this contest is for EVERYONE!

You have a little time, but not much!

Are you READY?  Together We Can Make the BEST Jewelry of Your LIFE!

See you in the Contest!


020 Podcast – JewelryMonk Design Contest Kickoff

JewelryMonk Podcast Episode 20

JewelryMonk Design Contest Kickoff

In this episode The Kickoff for the JewelryMonk’s 2nd Design Contest!

Your Mission…… If you choose to accept it:  

Download the PDF with Rules and Stone choices

click here —->>>  RULES AND INFORMATION <—- click here

  • Design a SILVER design around one of these stone.
  • You have until March 31st, 2017, at Midnight to submit your design to
  • My team and I will select 1 winner and announce it soon thereafter.  The winner will get their design created by myself.  During this process, I will create a video series of the whole process from:  Design – The Layout – Metal Fabrication and Cleanup – Rubber Mold Making – Wax Sizing – Casting the Production Piece – Grinding – Tumbling – Pre-Polishing – Stone Setting – and Final Polishing. The Theme of this video series will be Metal Fabrication and Soldering, using the winning design as an example.
  • I will make this video series, Focused on METAL FABRICATION AND SOLDERING available for purchase when it is finished, BUT the winner will receive the series for free.

BUT WAIT!!!! There’s More! (I have always wanted to say that….. sorry)

The winner will also receive the finished model, the mold, and the finished piece to own. This design and finished piece is theirs to do with whatever they want, it will be ready to go into production if they so desire.

ALSO, I introduced the A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Video Course

  • The A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Course is a 10 lesson, 22 video series that takes you through creation a piece of jewelry, from concept and drawing, all the way to the completed piece of reproducible jewelry. The videos cover, in real time, all the processes from transferring your design onto a wax blank, preparing and carving the wax. Casting that wax into silver, and cleaning up the silver into a model that will be molded. Injecting wax into the mold and casting those waxes into silver. Preparing those castings with tumbling media and polishing the castings. Finally, the piece will be set with a pear shaped stone in a prong/bezel setting, and the piece of jewelry will be final polished and cleaned, ready to ship.  (link below)

Featured Artist of this episode is

  • Hand Crafted Jewelry, Handcrafted for Unique Individuals

Jewelry Tip: has to do with Mineral Oil used with Polishing Compound

Cool Tool of the Week is a Degree Gauge:

Plus lots more in the podcast……

Now, Let’s Make something Shiny, Together.