Skills Set in Stone, Part Two

Whilst working on different collections of jewellery over the years, I’ve designed and created work that has played to the strengths of my own technique. My skills have improved and my style has become more defined, but there has definitely been areas that I’ve held at arms length with a good deal of fear, and stone setting was one them!
After having far too many dreams of glimmering jewellery designs studded with gemstones, and my taste becoming increasingly satisfied in the fine jewellery sector, it became obvious that developing my skills in stone setting would bring these new design ideas to life.

Sitting down to the on the first day of the course was daunting. And knowing there would be much practice needed and little time, my inner perfectionist was having a moment to herself…

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This flush setting was originally planned to be around half the size, but after an unfortunate moment in the ultrasonic cleaner I was left with an empty setting, and it turned out to be far from perfect. Deciding it was not worth crawling about the floor to look for said lost stone, a bigger stone in the setting was called for in order to get a snug enough fit.

Four hours, and two coffees later, I completed the setting, and I realised my expectations to get everything right straight off the mark was definitely unrealistic. My awkward jokes concealing my horror to the situation were met with Guy’s own humour and my fears disappeared, mostly.
What I would have originally classed as failure turned into perseverance, and with much more grace for myself the next flush setting took just an hour.

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Here, working on a V shaped claw setting with two trillion cut Rhodolite Garnets. First cutting the seat for the garnet, and lowering the stone just below the claws so there was enough metal to push down onto the stone. My favourite setting on the course.

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Over the course duration I was taught a staggering six techniques – bezel, round claw, pavΓ©, flush, channel and v-shaped. Journeying back to Dundee, my head was bursting with information, yet I felt energised and inspired. It was the most intensive and technical crash course in stone setting I could do, and I came away armed with the framework to continue to develop my skills back in the studio.

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Now just to practice and meditate on how much time it will take to polish up all these samples…

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