I have had people ask me how to set an enamel cabochon. It is rather simple, so I thought I'd share the process with you today.
Here are the simple steps:
1. Form a circle in 16g sterling silver, slightly smaller than the finished size of the cabochon.
Step 2 - Solder an 18g jump ring for the center of the setting. Center it inside the larger circle.
Step 3 - Cut a length of 18g sterling silver wire about a half inch wider than the total width of the circle and center it over the circle and the jump ring.
Solder each of the crossing points of the top wire.
Step 4- Add two shorter wires that sit perpendicular to the long wire but don't cross it.
Step 5 - Clean up your solder joints with whatever method you prefer. I like to use silicon disks in my flex shaft.
Step 6 - Add one or two hanging loops. One would have looked better on this small cabochon, but it will flip over less with two.
Step 7 - Clean up your setting and smooth the wire ends that cross into the center jump ring. These wires were cut from the center after soldering. I used my silicon polishing disk to smooth the ends so they won't catch on someone's clothing.
Step 8 - Prepare for folding over the prongs...
Pick up the cabochon and the setting and gently fold over one of the prongs. Next, fold over the prong that is directly across from the first. Fold over the remaining two prongs.
Step 9 - Cut your wires to the desired length. I like mine to be about 3 or 4 mm over the initial curve of the edge. It they are too short, your cabochon will not sit securely in the setting.
Step 10 - Using a cup burr, round the ends of each wire.
Step - 10Using a bezel pusher, fold the prongs over completely, allowing them to hug the curve of the cabochon. It will work harden the prongs and make them shine. You can rub the bezel pusher all over the setting to shine it up, or you can use a glass brush. Either will give the setting a nice shine. Alternatively, you can polish the entire setting before setting the cabochon. If you prefer a more rustic look, the setting can be dipped into liver of sulphur to give it a nice, rich patina.