I learned in this first experiment that s/s melts quickly, 9 karat gold melts next and fine silver holds it shape quite well compared to the melting point of the s/s backplate. The s/s ball and gold ball resemble fried eggs as I was trying to get the fine silver ball to finally fuse to the backplate.
Conclusion of this first experiment was to have all items I am fusing to one backplate all the same material for consistent success without complete meltdown of a feature.
Experiment 2: All s/s features and 1 x 9 karat gold ball
I textured up 1.5 mm thick scrap s/s wire and tried a bigger gold ball to see if I could get better control. Obviously 9 karat gold melts much quicker than s/s. But the fried egg look is less obvious, I still ended up with a nice ball of gold to look at.
Conclusion was to definitely put the gold on last after all other fusing is finished.
Experiment 4: Get the 9 karat gold ball to work
I am unsure how I made the folded ribbon looking s/s feature, it was just a scrap at the bottom of my collection of bits. The s/s feature was fused first and then I fused the gold ball second. And it worked! A perfectly formed gold ball instead of breakfast. The back plate started resembling reticulated silver after the multiple heating sessions.
You can see the edges of the back plate were really melted after this experiment.
Experiment 5: Precious Metal Clay (fine silver) plant forms, s/s bits and a fine silver bezel setting
The fusing session took a while to really get everything melted and fused together. Again, you can see the backplate showing a bit of reticulation and that bezel was a tad melted on the top before I took the torch away. But it worked!
I was pleased to see that the bezel ring had not changed shape and still fit the stone it was made for. The bezel setting was nice and tall so after assessing the melting damage, it was deemed useful.
After all of this experimentation, I decided to make a little pendant. This featured 3 fine silver balls, a PMC leaf of mine and a fine silver bezel. The back plate became warped and slightly reticulated again, but I liked the look so left the waves. A s/s tube bezel was soldered to the top, pendant polished, stone set and a pretty little pendant indeed.