Metal Smithing 101 - Setting a Square Cabochon Or A Gemstone with Corners

fire agate chunky sterling silver square ringFire Agate Chunky Sterling Silver Ring

I did it! I finally learned and persisted on learning on how to set a stone with corners. I definitely wanted to share my experience with you! After taking a few classes at my community college, I learned primarily the basics of metal smithing. I learned how to use my saw, my disc cutter, my files, and my flexshaft tool..which does all kinds of things, but most importantly how to get that polished shiny shiny look.

The one thing I did not really get is how to set a square cabochon. The detailed technique of it is not so easy to grasp or even explain. I tried filing the corners down first, but that is not all you have to do. It really is technique and it needs to practiced to be a master at it.

First of all setting a square cabs with corners is very tricky. It really is important to practice your technique and use the right tool! YES, the right tool helps. I have been using a bezel pusher...but I really never used my bezel rocker. At first this tool was so strange to me. I wondered ..what? How the heck does this thing work? So, I threw it back in the drawer and that was it for the next few months. After struggling with the bezel pusher on square cabs one after the other...I thought..what am I doing wrong? Of course nothing in metalsmithing comes with instructions..have you noticed?

bezel rockerBezel Rocker - Nifty Tool

The next step is to understand the technique used with this type of tool and to follow through with it. Honestly, I can't explain it in such great detail. But if you go to this site here:,1738.0.html this kind gentleman will show you EXACTLY how it is done. Oh my really works! Once you get this..PRACTICE!

Okay so I will show you some improvements on my square settings:

blue flash faceted labradorite cabochonFaceted Labradorite Square Sterling Silver Ring

If you go back in my archives, you will see my before photo's of this exact ring style and well, I would say...what a difference! I love square cabs..and now I can set them. YAY!

blue flash labradorite cabochonLabradorite Cabochon 12mm

Here is another ring, I have this for sale in my shop as well. No pinched corners...I just love it. This ring is so amazing in real life..very very pretty this labradorite gemstone is. If your looking for some great cabs you can also stop in and check out my Cab shop: 101 Best Beads on Etsy!

In a few weeks, I will be gathering some information on how to polish and research what types of tools to use for you newbies like me. I will be posting that information here too. Of course experimenting is what I do best. So please stay in touch. It is a learning process.

Have a great holiday season with your family! Any comments are welcome..let me know you stopped in! Thank you!

Helenes Dreams Etsy Christmas Blog Giveaway!

red jasper sterling silver earrings
Helenes Dreams - Red Jasper Sterling Silver Earrings

Hey Everyone...its that time. I have been meaning to post a giveaway. With life being so busy lately, I know I have been neglecting my blog a bit. But I would like to make it up to you! As you all know Christmas is around the corner and it is that time of the year again!

These earrings above are some of my newest additions to my Helene's Dreams shop. They are a lot of fun to make. A bit challenging trying to solder a bezel in the center and keeping it there as you heat up....but somehow I learned to pull it off. These have that rustic "worn" look. Really earthy and goes nicely with a pair of jeans and a warm sweater!

labradorite gemstones
Helenes Dreams - Labradorite Copper Sterling Silver Earrings

I really love the way labradorite complements the tones of copper. Labradorite has some copper tones within its blue to green flash. Honestly, I can look at these all day. It really feels like eye candy!

Some of you may know that I have recently expanded my techniques and incorporated metalsmithing into my designs. It has been a great adventure and lots of living and learning on how to get the job done just right. It has been nice to have a venue like Etsy to sell some of my work, because the investment in classes and tools have been extensive!

sterling silver stacking ringsHelenes Dreams Giveaway - Four Sterling Silver Stacking Rings

I would like to kindly invite you to visit my shop and check out some of my new designs. In honor of the Christmas season I am going to giveaway a set of Four Sterling Silver Stacking Rings made to your specific size. These rings are simply beautiful and versatile. They can enhance any ring you may already wear now or even worn alone, they make a nice statement. My intentions are to have them made and sent to you before Christmas!

Here is what you have to do to enter this contest:

You do not have to be a blogger to enter.

It is open to World Wide Entries!

PLEASE NOTE: Each entry must be posted separately to count.

1. For one entry please go to my Etsy store, Helenes Dreams and check it out. Come back here to my blog and post a comment on your favorite thing from the shop. Also, please be sure to leave your email address so I can notify you if you are a winner.

2. For a 2nd entry subscribe to my blog by email in the upper left side of my blog.

3. For a 3rd entry if you would like..follow my blog, or link back to my blog, or blog about this great giveaway! ( You can post this entry if you already follow my blog or link to it. Please post the url link if you blog about this giveaway.)

4. For a 4th entry ..follow me on Facebook. I am on Facebook. Okay it needs some help..but getting some more followers there will allow me to have my blog on there too, and inspire me to keep that going.

This giveaway will end on Monday, November 30th at midnight. A winner will be picked using Up to four entries are accepted per person. I will post the winner on Dec. 1st 2009. I would like to thank all of you for taking a moment to participate. I greatly appreciate it.

Have a great day!
Updated: December 1st, 2009 - Contest Winner

Today the picked lucky entry #323 which is SoccerMom1! Yeah! Congratulations to Soccer Mom 1 ! I will be contacting her by email and congratulating her and requesting her ring size!

Thank you so much to all of you who made kind and wonderful comments and for participating in the giveaway. Please check back, I will be doing another giveaway in January 2010 to start the year off just right!

Wishing all of you a wonderful and happy holiday season!