Judy Larson is a wonderful jewelry making instructor who freely shares her tutorials both online and at her local classes. Her experience as a teacher resulted in this latest tutorial. She noticed beginners trying to wire wrap a cabochon and finding it tricky to hold the banded bezel around the stone AND the stone as well to work on the bail portion. She said, "unless a student is very good at making bezels, places wraps in exactly the right place, and makes the bezel very tight, the stone may slip out."

Her teaching solution?  Using top drilled large beads to act as cabochons.  Using a head pin on these beads helps the student to hold the banded bezel and the focal steady so the critical wrapping at the top is tight enough.   The head pin also serves as the central post for the wire weaving portion of the bail.

If you are trying to work with a cabochon, use some painter's tape to hold the bezel and the stone together.

I also like the approach of using wire scrolls front and back to hold the focal in place.  This effectively reduces the number of wires to deal with at the bail end.

Judy also previously shared a great tutorial on how to make a custom polymer clay mandrel for shaping the banded wires. Using the stone itself to try and shape the banded wires is difficult because the stones usually have curved edges and aren't very thick.  This will make a lot of sense once you've tried making wire wrapped bezels.

Download this free pdf tutorial from Slideshare (free to join):

or from Scribd (free to join unless you want to pay for ebooks too!) :

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