This is the first wire bezel that I’ve ever made. It was done entirely for the sake of practice, which is why a lot of it isn’t right, but I don’t mind. Recently, I signed up for an online wire weaving class on making bezels. (I did a lot of the things my way and showed disregard for instructions when making this one, so I won’t say which class it was because I don’t want to misrepresent it. After I make some more in the proper manner, I’ll include a link to the class in the post.)
Since I didn’t want to just do a practice weave for the sake of practicing, I decided to use my practice wires to make an actual bezel. I had a ceramic heart that I made for the sake of testing an underglaze color. (See? Even my test tiles are not just in the shape of tiles and were made to have other possible purposes.) At first it was destined to become a magnet, but after seeing some other people wire wrap (not weave) a bezel for a heart-shaped stone, I realized that it was possible to weave a bezel for a heart-shaped cabochon.
This project was different to begin with because in the class we were taught to use 30-40 mm cabochons. (I have subsequently made various cabochons that size but they’re currently being fired and I will have to glaze them.) My ceramic heart is about 26 mm at its widest. That was why I only left two inches of wire on each side for my bail, instead of three. I decided to make my bail smaller, so it would be proportionate to the rest of the pendant.
Although I measured my “stone” all the way around, and wove that length, I discovered that I didn’t want the weaving to go all the way into the “dip” in the heart, so I had to cut off the extra weaving. Since this is practice and I didn’t want to waste wire (even though it’s just silver plated copper), I straightened the pieces to reuse them. (That’s usually not advised because the wire would have already hardened some from being manipulated and would be harder to work with and more likely to snap.) I used one of the 26 gauge pieces for weaving the bail, even though we were told to use 28 gauge wire for that. Unfortunately, it was too short, so I ran out and needed to add more wire, from the spool. The other piece was used on the backside, which explains why it looks kind of crinkled and might not feel smooth to wear comfortably. But that’s fine since this piece was intended for practice only anyway.
I know that I need more practice because I had a hard time keeping the warp wires the same width apart, and it’s noticeable from the sides.
So even though I cut a lot of corners and used entirely different materials from those suggested in the course, and made something less than perfect, I got some practice and I am still happy with the result.