Firing a piece of fine silver wire in place with a bronze clay bead worked, earlier. (Except for that unexpected crack.)
I polished the bead, then filled the recessed lines with PMC3 fine silver clay. I placed a pair of copper tongs on top of the wire as a heat sink, then torch fired the PMC3, moving the torch back and forth for 90 seconds to sinter the thin layer of silver clay. The bronze bead was a bright orange-y red, and I had my fingers crossed that the heat would not melt the silver wire. It worked! The silver clay even filled in the crack, making it less obvious, almost part of the design. (Um, that’s the way I meant to do it….?)
The bronze clay did seem to turn a little more reddish with the heat from the torch firing. This is one of a pair of earrings. I plan to try it with copper beads as well. The design is to have the bead move freely, 360º, around the wire. The wire is fired in place, but not stationary. There is no hole in the bottom of the earring bead.