Functional Design: Make a Supporting Star Focal or Jewelry Finding
Create a toggle set with a stone that works equally well as a secure jewelry finding and a decorative focal
By Kieu Pham Gray
Function or design, which comes first? I love design and function equally. And where I can, I like to make my designs functional. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Additionally, people think there is more value when you give them a two-fer, right? This is the fun part of creating, giving people more value and sometimes a little surprise.
The design in this piece lends itself well to a transparent stone or glass as it is open on both sides. There are several techniques in the project that can be used independently of each other to create more projects. In other words, for this focal and jewelry finding, you don’t have to set a pearl into the toggle bar. You may leave it plain, or you could add a mini-bezel setting in its place. The stone can be anything, even a bead, especially if you cannot see the hole. That is what I am using here. Or consider using round or triangular wire to add a different dimension. The possibilities are endless.
Soldering, Stone setting, Basic metalwork
flat semiprecious stone (Aqua Terra jasper/agate shown)
6″x 1/4″ 26g fine silver sheet *
6″ 14g sterling silver square wire, dead soft
2 6mm 19g jump ring
1″ 16g sterling silver wire, dead soft (may vary)
6mm half-round, half-drilled pearl
1×1″ 12g copper sheet
* The width will depend on the thickness of the stone; length will depend on size of your stone.
Soldering: Butane torch, tripod with mesh, fire tweezers (cross-locking are best), soldering board of choice, solder paste (hard, medium, easy), flux, pickle
Fabrication: Metal files, curved burnisher, rotary tool, heavy duty wire cutters, ultra flush wire cutters, fine tip Sharpie, cardboard Stone Setting: Bezel rocker, dressmaker’s t-pin, E6000
Finishing: 400, 500, and 600 sandpaper; buffing wheel; polishing compound
Optional Pearl Drilling: 1″ wood dowel rod, wood bead holder, diamond twist drill bit (see chart for size)
It’s a jewelry finding (toggle) or a jewelry focal (bezel set stone)–or both in one clever design!
KIEU PHAM GRAY has been creating jewelry for almost 20 years. Kieu and her husband, Andy, own and operate The Urban Beader, where they work to provide the industry with specialty supplies and tools. Most recently, she co-founded EverCrafting.com, a social media site for serial crafters.
This project is featured in the May/June 2018 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. See inside this issue in the Lookbook!
See this project and many more, plus gemstone and metalsmithing news and products in the May/June 2018 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.