Rainbow Moonstone Pebble Blossom Pendant
My first couple of attempts were really frustrating, as when I placed the little silver balls (handmade from scraps of silver wire and sheet) around the bezel soldered onto a circle of silver sheet, I would get to a certain amount of balls and couldn't seem to place any more without others falling off. I felt a bit like a rubbish sheep herder whose sheep keep running around the place instead of in the pen!
I also discovered that it is important not to have the balls too big or it's really difficult to set the stone... you can imagine at what point I found that out! Oh well, 'you live and learn' is my motto at the moment and I am loving this journey and can't expect to get everything right first time.
Next time I tried sanding the bottom of all the little balls to make them have a flat area to sit on and to make them a little shorter around the bezel. This was very fiddly and time consuming. However, this didn't really make any difference to the little balls slipping off as more got added around the bezel. Grrrrr......
I then discovered if I fluxed around the bezel before placing the balls, that the flux held the balls in place. Yay! The only downside to this is that when I heated up the bezel and balls, the flux bubbled and expanded and I spent quite a lot of time replacing and repositioning the balls.
Rainbow Moonstone Pebble Frame Ring
This final method has been the most reliable and, with some patience and careful handling of the heat of my torch, I have had success.
I have been pondering variations of this design and here is another Pebble Blossom pendant I made today where I filed and sanded down the little balls for a 'flattened' finish. I really like this effect.
Amethyst Pebble Blossom Pendant