After a couple of months away from my bench this summer, I'm taking a class to learn how to make settings other than bezels. Things like prong settings, tube settings, flush settings... To be honest, I was getting a little bored with bezel settings because I've been yearning to add a little sparkle to some of my work and bezel settings don't work with faceted stones. It's an 8 week class and I'm having a wonderful time learning so many new tricks and techniques.
Here's my very first wire turtle setting. Not perfect by any stretch, but not bad for a first try. I used argentium wire and fused it together to form this setting. A few glitches along the way required that I use a different stone than the one I originally planned to use, but that's the nature of learning something new. This stone is an American golden opal. The setting is about as plain as you can get, but I'm just learning the basics before I add in anything complicated.
After finishing this, I was in the mood to do some polishing, so I spent a few hours polishing my stone setting tools. That's one of the tips I learned (or was reminded of) in this class - dull, scratched tools dull & scratch your jewelry piece. Now that my tools are shiny and better than new, hopefully I'll have less clean-up after stone setting in the future!