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Apprenticeship 1960 A.D


Even long before I turned 20 years of age, I was practicing how to use my Onglette graver. After an estimated 2, non-stop years of attempting to cut squares & other kinds of patterns, my teacher gave me the final ‘okay’. Once I got that “approval”, he gave me hundreds (or thousands) of spinels to set in 10kt. gold.

I found that in those earlier days, ‘I had a feeling’ that I should learn as much as I could in Diamond Setting…

BTW, let me tell you, BRASS is not the easiest metal to work with. It’s so very unforgiving, but this metal was another teacher. I still to this day, in 2018, have all of those little demo-brass plates. WE (my teacher/manager/friend both felt that if I could cut in Brass, then I could cut in 10kt. 14kt & 18kt. with little effort. *The hardest technique was not let my graver slip while using my Onglette. *

In the private room in one of Canada’s busiest jewellery company where only 6 setters were allowed to work, I was given the greatest responsibility to be one of the 3, (out of 6) to be allowed to “Bright-Cut”. Even to this day in 2018, I keep my fingers, eyes, hands in tune by selecting only the most difficult tasks. These projects are “Cut-Down", "Fish Tail” and anything that a graver will do to enhance the metal around a Diamond. This is for Gypsy, Tube-Setting, Bezel Setting, Princess center stones and anything that a graver will be used.

I use my Flat-Gravers #40 (Glardon #10 or #12) to Bright-Cut inside a Channel Setting ring. I am my own worst 'quality control department", if my setting is not 100% then it isn’t good enough to be seen!..:>(

These days, some setters I meet, shy away from totally using their Onglette gravers, why so? They feel uncomfortable in their ability in using this necessary tool. If I take away their microscope where will they be?

“Bright-Cutting” and the continual use of a graver is something that cannot be learned in one day! *I call these people, “prong-pushers”, not setters! *Some of my aspiring students want to learn Pave setting in a ‘3-day training program’. * I tell them "**It took me ONLY 5 YEARS TO LEARN and you want to learn this technique taught in hours, or days? ***

(I apologize if I irritated anyone from that previous sentence). I am now even preparing to write multiple essays, with photographs on “How to Create Different Styles of Cutting”…as in “Star-Setting”. This kind of graver instructions is not a simple task to even write, as this setting process is about 20 (or more) on the “Difficulty Scale of 10”.

If you think that I’m writing too many essays on graver usage, then this “Topic on Gravers” warrants this continual exposure! Each essay being written is so darned important!

​ <= 'Have fun reading​"!

All of this information started from this one brass plate being shown here! My apprenticeship on anything pertaining to setting with gravers, was in total, a 9 year program. ""


Thank you Gerry,

You are now a master.

Congratulations on your years and years of dedication to work and the noble action of teaching.