Making, Metalsmithing

Flush setting practice, again

In order to learn how to flush set stones, I bought some cubic zirconia (CZs). These are man-made stones so they are not super expensive, but still beautiful. I shared them here and in my Instagram feed a few weeks ago:

Well, I mostly post beautiful finished things here, but learning and making mistakes is part of the journey, so here is some of my ugly work in progress. 🙂

I have done a lot of big pieces (which have their own challenges), but I have definitely never worked with something so tiny – except maybe my size 15 seed beads.

I decided to practice on copper because the cost of silver has almost doubled since the beginning of the summer – yikes! You can see the reduction in scratches around the stone over time (from left to right):

And a close up of the first attempt where the stone actually stayed in place (ugly as it is!):

The stone wasn’t quite deep enough, so I didn’t have any place to push the metal when I set it.

And then finally, my final attempt with the 3mm. It is still not customer ready – but definitely progress from my earlier efforts:

Towards the end I tried some of the smaller stones – both 2.5 mm (far left, below) and 2.0 mm (far right, below) – the process is the same but even more challenging because everything is so damn tiny!

I ran out of gas for continuing practicing this weekend, but I am excited about how far I’ve come, and looking forward to resuming again next weekend.

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