Hi there!

I'm Eni Oken, artist and author of hundreds of articles, tutorials and books in print and online. For over 30 years I've explored art, color theory, fantasy and ornamental design.

Certified Zentangle® Teacher

Certified Zentangle® Teacher

Caging Pebbles

Question: I understand that using beads and gemstones that have been drilled add to the security that they will stay in place with a strung wire. However, I have a large selection of loose tumbled natural gemstones (not cut or faceted) that represent a sizable investment (over a period of years) and I want to do something with them. Most between 1/4" to an 1" in diameter. None of these have been drilled, so I understand I will have to "cage" them in order to hold them securely. I've fiddled and fiddled with various ways to do this attactivly and keep falling short. I wonder if you might be able to, some time in the near future, create a short tutorial addressing a few attractive ideas on caging loose tumbled stones of various shapes.

Answer: I have worked on the same issues, and come up with a few alternatives. The first and most versatile one is to use a netted bezel, which traps stones, especially cabs, very well. You can use the net with tumbled stones also, as long as you make the net cover the stone in such a way that it won't fall off. Net Bezel Tutorial.

The second option is the Basketweave bezel: a little tricky, but very sturdy and nice.

I also have a design which I do not have a tutorial for, but it's a fun design, maybe you can figure it out: http://www.enioken.com/journal/2006/05/lantern-pendant-with-tumbled-stone.html .
I am constantly working on finding new alternatives for caging stones, especially without holes.

JewelryMaking: Learn the Technique first

Live Class with Eni Oken: Netted Cap