Step1...and now for something completely different...step by step project: Triple Drops

One of the interesting challenges about building a jewelry business is the way each artist deals with mass production, to whatever degree that may be. For my approach to Cathartic Studio, I wish to retain the hand-made quality of my work, but still be able to produce each piece in a timely manner that allows me to offer work that's available at all price points.

Having just received an order for one of my most difficult pieces to create, I thought it was a good opportunity to explore this process. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting pictures and sharing my process. In this series, I'll produce 3 sets of Triple drops.


So let's start with Step 1, marking and roughing out the bezels. To begin, we need to create a channel in the bezel in which the square bar will inset and soldered. Insetting the joint is much stronger than a butt joint but does require more precision and effort. The challenge here is to mark the exact dimensions of the intersection - no slop can be tolerated in the joint as solder will not fill gaps...the fit needs to be exact. So we have to start with a precise mark. To do this, I prepare the rough tube stock or cast bezel settings by covering the outside surface with a Sharpie marker. Why will become apparent shortly. I then make a jig that allows me to find exact center and 4 quadrants of the tube. I use the same bar stock used to build the earrings in the positioning posts of the jig. With little effort then, I can take a scribe to trace the exact dimensions of the intersection that will later be cut away. With some practice and a cut-off wheel attached to the rotary motor, I'm able to rough out the inset. With a little additional filing, I can achieve a tight fit.