My metalsmithing workbench is mostly setup - or at least as setup as it's going to get until I buy more tools - and I've begun the process of "trial and error" for original stone settings again! I've drawn up several and want to dive right in to sterling silver again, but I decided maybe I should practice a little in copper since it has been several years.....
|My 1st solder-free stone setting - Carnelian and Copper|
This is my first piece of "practice" - a carnelian cabochon set in copper. A prong setting isn't necessarily unique, but this one has a little something going for it because I used no solder! The inspiration came from the May 2014 Art Jewelry Magazine, "Cold Captures: Push-up Prongs" by Michael David Sturlin.
|Solder-free stone setting - Carnelian and Copper|
I learned several things in practice that made me glad I didn't start with sterling.
- Sandpaper makes excellent sparkly texture on copper when rolled through the mill
- Said excellent texture is much less sparkly if you have to re-anneal the piece. Sigh.
- More planning is needed to preserve the sparkles!
|Solder-free setting - push-up prongs and roll-over bail.|
Speaking of the carnelian, I did learn that this prong setting technique is really much better suited to small stones. I don't recall the article suggesting any particular size of stone, but the ones used were much smaller, or at least had a lower dome. I tried the solder-free settings because I was curious. This stone is pretty secure unless someone really pushes from the back and doesn't care about damaging the stone, but I like my settings to have a better hold on the stone than this one provides for this size cab. I do plan on trying again with smaller stones because let's face it - a solder-free, glue-free bezel sounds pretty good sometimes!
I do have a rather large soft spot for bezel settings though, and will no doubt practice on those for my next stone. Now to pick out a stone.....