The next project in the Diploma in Fine Jewellery was Claw Setting (or Prong Setting as we call it in America, did I mention the course is based in the UK? That poses its own problems... gauges of wire and sheet don't exist over there, so I have to convert all the materials!
This was a fun project, lots of soldering and making sure the wire didn’t melt! And the results came out really lovely!
We were to make varying different shapes of baskets for the stones. A pear, oval, round and cushion (square with rounded corners).
First I needed to make the same shape as the stone in wire, a little smaller than the stone so that you can’t see it when looking from above, then I needed to make a smaller version. Those needed to be soldered and then the claws (which were slightly smaller wire) needed to be shaped (like two Ls) and sandwiched in between the two shapes and all of the wires soldered together.
Next up was to make the findings for it be it a jump ring for a necklace a ring shank. We needed to make four practice settings and then a pair of dangle earrings for marking. The practice pieces also needed to be sent in.
For the practice, I made two rings and two pendants. The rings needed to be soldered to the baskets and then the shank that is in the middle of the rings needed to sawed out and filed nicely, this is that all the light can bounce around the stone and you can’t see any shadows through the stone from the setting. Then everything needed to be polished ready for setting.
Setting was fun, it’s really great when you add a stone because it really feels like it’s on its way to being a complete piece of jewelry, it transforms it! I needed to place the stone in the basket and then bend the wire claws over over the stone, making sure they were evenly spaced. They were then clipped off and filed to a point and the last step was polishing.
For the dangle earrings, I also needed to add a handmade post and also solder the jump rings together, so more opportunities for the wires to melt. Thankfully I managed to keep everything in tact!
All in all I was happy with how they turned out. There were a few technical mistakes, but they looked pretty good!