Gemstone Setting: Here’s what you need to know

Gemstone Setting: Here’s what you need to know

The Beginners Guide to Jewellery Making

Today we wanted to explain a little more about the term ‘stone setting’.

This is something we teach in several of our classes, including our One Day Gemstone Setting Class, Introduction to Jewellery Making Class and our Improvers Jewellery Making class.

Stone setting is simply the process of a gemstone being securely attached into the jewellery setting – usually the last part of the process. While there are many different variations of gem setting, we focus on flush setting and bezel setting within our classes.

Let’s shift the focus to Flush setting for now.

This is a technique of setting a gemstone into a drilled hole so that the gemstone sits inside of the jewellery and doesn’t show above the surface of the piece. Flush setting is a skill that requires accuracy and practice. This is why our 5 week courses and One Day Gemstone Setting Classes factor in plenty of time to practise before setting your gemstones into your final sterling silver piece.

 

A bezel setting is a technique used for enclosing a diamond or gemstone within a piece of jewellery, where the metal securely wraps around the stone. It’s one of the oldest types of stone setting and is often seen in antique or antique-inspired jewellery. The biggest benefit of a bezel setting is their security due to the setting fully surrounding the stone.

 

Our classes are open to all learning stages and you’ll have the help and guidance of our experienced goldsmith and tutor who will be there to guide you.

Click here for more information about our classes and current availability. 

 

 

The Beginners Guide to Jewellery Making

The Beginners Guide to Jewellery Making

The Beginners Guide to Jewellery Making

So  you fancy your hand at jewellery making? Amazing! You’re in the right place.

 

One of our most frequently asked questions is whether our classes are suitable for beginners. 

Our answer: YES! Yes, of course – come on in. 

We know that starting anything new can be a little daunting – even with our reassurance that you’re very much welcome – so we’ve put together our tips for those who want to try jewellery making for the first time, to help ease any nerves about coming along to our classes and enjoying learning a new creative skill. 

One of the many joys of making your own jewellery is that you get to create pieces totally bespoke to you and that reflects exactly what you’re looking for. There’s also the excitement of being able to make thoughtful gifts for loved ones. Imagine being able to have your own personalised jewellery for an affordable price and have fun in the process. 

 

What do you need to make jewellery?

Within our classes we primarily focus on making silver rings or pendants. We provide all tools, equipment, aprons and drills. So all you’ve got to bring is yourself and a few ideas about what you’d like to make design wise. 

Don’t panic if you’re drawing a blank in terms of design ideas, our very experienced tutors are not only bursting with knowledge but they’re also a super creative bunch and will happily chat through and help you with ideas. 

 

Choose what you’d like to make

Everything you make in our classes, you keep. On completion of our next Introduction to Jewellery Making course, you’ll have made either a pierced pendant or a beautiful ring with a bezel set gemstone, just in time for Christmas. 

It can be overwhelming when you first decide to give jewellery-making a go because there are so many possibilities. Choose one item to focus on first and remember, you can always try something else later. You’ll actually find it easier learning a new technique the next time around because of what you learned the first time around. 

If you’re stuck for inspiration on what to make, check out our Instagram here for examples of what previous clients have done. 

 

Master a few basics first

If you don’t feel ready to commit to a full jewellery making course, why not get started with our Forge a Silver Ring Taster Class? The result of this 2.5 hour class is a stunning handmade gift for yourself or a loved one AND you get to learn the basics of an incredible, ancient craft. 

Many of our Forge a Silver Ring class goers have discovered a new hobby and love of the craft and have signed up to our longer part-time courses to deepen their knowledge.

 

Don’t get discouraged

Just like with learning any other skill from scratch, there’s a learning curve to making your own jewellery. The first few tries may not go exactly as you’d like but that’s ok because your next attempt will look better and by the fourth, fifth, sixth go, you’ll feel more and more like a pro. Be patient with yourself, keep practicing, remember that all skills take time to develop and don’t forget our tutors are on hand throughout the entirety of the course to offer hands-on guidance and support. 

 

Click here to find out more about our class schedule for 2021. 

Our Introduction to Jewellery Making Course takes place over the course of 5 weeks. Classes are currently capped at 6 participants to ensure social distancing and COVID-19 measures are adhered to. We ask that all teachers and students attending wear visors/masks during our class. Workshop students have been fitted with perspex dividers and sanitisation stations to be used when entering and exiting our premises. 

How To Start Your Jeweller’s Bench at Home

How To Start Your Jeweller’s Bench at Home

Silver Works tutor, Steph shares her advice for starting your jeweller’s bench at home.

I feel like no matter where you start you end up becoming a collector of jewellery tools. You get a bit obsessed with each one and it never ends. 

There are so many different bits and bobs you can get for your bench. You generally become a bit of a maverick when you don’t have something you need. I never thought wire hangers would come in handy for so many things, Soldering picks or a makeshift hanging rail for my pliers. 

So where to start then? Let’s start with the basics 

The most important tools for your Jeweller’s Bench are your piercing saw and your bench peg.

You can keep these pretty simple to start and upgrade as you go.  With your saw frame, there are some absolutely beautiful hand saws out there to pick from, like the ones from Greenlion Jewellers.

I started with a pretty basic saw frame and it has done me so well for the past few years. 

Make your own

Saw Blade 2/0 are a great start for beginners. I don’t know how many I broke when I first started piercing so don’t get disheartened. It’s extremely annoying but you get used to the strength and how far you can push a blade before it breaks.

Make your own

When I was choosing a bench peg I didn’t have a full scale bench so I really needed something I could put anywhere I needed to work. I went through a few at first as they would end up moving around a lot ( absolutely nightmare) , you do end up putting a lot of pressure on your bench peg so ideally you want something that won’t budge. 

I found this one great to work with and the cast iron anvil is such a plus.

Make your own

We hope this introduction to the basic tools needed to start your own work bench at home has sparked an interest in creating your own. 

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)

 

Day One of our recent Weekend Improvers Class

Day One of our recent Weekend Improvers Class

Recently we decided to run an intensive two-day version of our (usually 5 weeks) Improvers jewellery making course.

Like the 5 week version, the emphasis of this class is on taking your EXISTING jewellery making skills to the next level and working with our expert tutors to practice and develop these skills while also learning new techniques too.

As pictured below, on Day 1 the focus is on making a chain bracelet and setting a faceted (diamond cut) stone. You learn how to make the hook and eye clasp for this, too.

Make your own

Skills practiced include:

– Soldering
– Stone setting
– Filing

 

Stay tuned for insight into Day 2 of the Weekend Improvers Course next week.

Is this something you’d be interested in attending? Let us know!

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)

 

Everything You Need To Know About Our 5 Week Wax Carving Course 

Everything You Need To Know About Our 5 Week Wax Carving Course 

Have you heard of wax carving but not sure what it is or how to do it? Let’s break it down…

What is wax carving?

Wax carving is an ancient tradition in jewellery making which dates back as far as 6000 years. It’s a great place to start with your jewellery making skills because it gives plenty of freedom to experiment with an affordable material. With wax carving, you’re also able to make a more diverse range of shapes that would otherwise be difficult to achieve with traditional sheet metal and wire.

How it works?

Starting with a lump of wax, you saw and file it down into the shape you want, something like a sculptor working with stone. Once you’ve finished your wax carving, it’s then sent to a caster to be cast into your metal of choice. We mostly offer silver casting at Silver Works but we love hearing your ideas so feel free to ask questions and share design ideas.

What can you make?

Well, we’re glad you asked…Here are a few pieces made by one of our tutors, Steph while using wax carving to create jewellery for her own brand, Authentic Paranoia.  We’re a little obsessed…

What can you make in our classes?

Again, so glad you asked because we’re pretty proud of our students and their wax carving creations. Check out some of the Silver Works Hall of Fame pieces below. These are all pieces made by customers using our at home Wax Carving kit or by students who have attended our Wax Carving Course. 

So what do you think? Ready to book the Forge Your Own Silver Ring Class? Or would you still like to learn more?

If you’re ready to book, great! Click here for available dates and choose one that suits you best. We can’t wait to meet you and get started!

We’re now running a 5 week Wax Carving Class to take you through the entire process.

You’ll learn all the basic skills needed for traditional wax carving techniques.

 

On completion of this wax carving course, you will have:

  • Chosen your design
  • Learn and understand all the techniques necessary for carving your design into wax
  • Have your pieces sent off for casting.
  • Post casting preparation and polishing, ensuring your pieces are ready to wear

 

Our next 5 week Wax Carving Course kicks off on:

SUNDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER, 10-12:30

Every Sunday for 5 weeks until Sunday 17th October

Related Blog Posts

If you’d like to learn more, we’ve gathered our top blog posts about wax carving to help answer some of your questions and hopefully provide you with plenty of inspiration of what’s possible within our Wax Carving classes. 

Top Tips For Using Our Ring Carving Kit – I have no idea what to make – Help! 

And if you want to learn more about the potential a new creative hobby can have in your life, read this – The Benefits of Cultivating New Creative Skills 

 

Thanks,

The Silver Works Team (1)