The trickiest part of wire wrapping around a cabochon is when you have to shape the wire bundle.  If you look at a cabochon sideways, you'll notice there's not much flat surface to work on.  Cabochons are polished so the edges are also curved which adds to the awkwardness.

So using a mandrel helps a lot. More importantly, it saves time if you are making a lot of these types of wire bezels.

A couple of years ago, I came across Rick Swartzwelder's Bezelform mandrels - products he came up with because he wanted to speed up his own wire worked pendants.  I eventually  bought the unengraved set below and have been using them ever since.

Unengraved set
I like them mainly because I cannot easily find small oval mandrels. The graduated sizes also increases my design options.  The handy case is very sturdy and  helps prevent pieces going astray. You can see some examples of what I made using these mandrels in the original giveaway post.  

I didn't buy the engraved set because I wanted to save a bit of money! Besides I knew Rick provided the instructions on his website on how to apply even marks around. But there is an engraved version for those who want to save some time. What's more one engraved set will go to the lucky winner of this giveaway! A fabulous opportunity!

Engraved set
There are plastic mandrels on the market or you could make your own from polymer clay, but  the advantage with metal ones is their robustness.  I have lightly work hardened metal wire with a hammer on mine!

See these pieces? Rick made each of the cabochon bezel in 30 minutes!

He also provides instructions on his site for prong style bezels. These will take longer to make than the traditional ones but worth it if you don't like all those long wire tails!

Other artisans also liked the metal mandrels. So Rick has responded to requests for more shapes. His latest set is the faceted gemstone set.


To enter to win an engraved Bezelform set, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Subscribers need to click on the post title to come to my actual blog. Scroll down and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank. Please leave an email at the very least so I can contact you easily if you win.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, January 14 , 2013. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Before You Go:

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips