Friday, June 9, 2017

New CaBezel Designs in a Snap! - mini tutorial

I love working with the CaBezel Molds that are created by Wendy Orlowski.  It is such a unique concept where you can create a bezel frame from clay and then a clay pattern cabochon to fit inside -- thus the name Cab -- (Cabochon) -- Bezel.

These molds are sold through Shades of Clay and there is a wide selection of shapes and sizes.  I have just about all of them and now, Wendy has created some new designs -- CaBezels with holes which will be available at Shades of Clay very soon!  Wendy sent me some to test out and play with and I had fun creating some new stuff.  Apparently she is working on some smaller shapes that coordinate with these and I can hardly wait until they are out!

I have been wanting to incorporate the CaBezels into our Snap Decisions Collection and finally worked it out.  I don't know what took me so long as frankly, it was a lot easier than I expected and so want to share it with you as an addition to my published tutorial.

One note is that it works best with Kato clay as I have tried this with both Premo and Fimo clay and found they were too soft.  So here is how you can add a snap to the back of your CaBezel design to create a piece that is interchangeable:

Step 1 - Place your clay onto a ceramic tile and stick it down really well so it will not move.  Spray your clay with water (for a mold release) and burnish the CaBezel (Bezel part) until you get a nice deep impression.

Step 2 - Trim around the outside of the Bezel with a scalpel or sharp blade.  This is where the ceramic tile comes in handy as you can turn it as you trim.

Step 3 - If you want the hole in your design, trim out the center portion as well.  I will be showing here 2 methods - with the hole and filling in the hole.

Step 4 - Smooth all the outside edges of your shape, if necessary.

Step 5 - Now slide your tissue blade under your bezel to remove it from your tile.  Pick it up and place it back into the CaBezel mold, placing it face down.  Here it is shown face up so you can see.

Step 6 - To add your snap, make sure it has been prepped first using method A (page 4) in my Snap Decisions tutorial and then add some liquid clay to the inside.  Push the snap firmly into the back of the clay bezel.

Picture A shows the bezel without the hole and I am inserting a snap with a bezel and picture B is with the hole and I am inserting a flat snap.

Step 7 - If you need help pushing in the snap, you can use a small shape cutter that fits just inside to give you more leverage.

Step 8 - The snap should be well embedded into the clay and flush with the back of the bezel as shown in the photo below.

Step 9 - While the clay is still in the mold, you can texture the back with a sponge, sandpaper or whatever you prefer.

Step 10 - I also like to add our signature stamp at this point as well and then you can clean up the edges by pushing against the side with your tissue blade.

Step 11 - Carefully take your piece out of the mold and poke a few holes with a needle tool into the clay above where the snap is to release any trapped air when baking.  Bake the piece flat using the snap support boards shown on page 21 of my tutorial.

Step 12 - Make your cabochon part of the CaBezel with your clay pattern by following the same method as in steps 1 - 4.  If you are filling in the center, you can use a solid color of clay or here I am saving the piece that I cut out and using that.

Place your clay design into the Cabezel (add liquid clay first) by following the CaBezel instructions.

Step 13 - To fill the hole and (A) to measure the size for the center, place the Bezel portion over the clay and lightly burnish to mark it.  Cut it by using the inside lines as a guide.  (B) Turn it over (right side facing down) and cut a shape out of scrap clay slightly smaller and place it in the center.  (C) Turn it over and with your finger, bevel the edges all the way around.  You can round the corners by pushing a blade up against them.  (D) Add some liquid clay to the Bezel center.  (E) Place your piece into the center and smooth the inside edges.

I decided I wanted the center to pop a bit more so added a Swarovski crystal before baking.  Bake again using the  snap support board to keep it flat.

And here are my finished pieces, added to a snap base on a cord.

Or you can add it to the chain style necklace shown here.

The beauty of creating your pieces on a snap is that they can be worn so many different ways making your design very versatile!  Imagine wearing them in other ways such as a brooch, on a shawl stick or even in your hair!

And here are a few more pieces that we created using the CaBezel molds with a snap:


Wendy Weaver Orlowski said...

Wow Carolyn. You did such a beautiful job with the CaBezels and your explanation for using them is so clear and concise. Thanks for your continued interest in using the CaBezels. I really love to see how others have used them. You make such pretty things!

Beckysuecreations said...

When you mention that Kato is the best clay to use are you referring to making the bezel or in general to make all components that the snap is attached to?

2 Good Claymates said...

I was referring to this tutorial only. If using a softer clay it squishes too much when adding the snap. It can be done but is more difficult. In general, you can use any cly brand for making the snaps.