Designing things!

Literally anyone in our profession can design something with our familiar metals. But if they have not one idea on how set the stones they are working on, failure is just around the corner. Disaster is looming, many times a cad-cam friend of mine asked me of some advice. The first thing any computer-designer should learn is how to set a gemstone.
A jewellery company had their head-designer prepare a ring for me to set. It was cast, cleaned, etc’s then it was given to me to set. Then the ”blades of the fan” we’re starting to turn and questions we’re hurled at me as to why I couldn’t set the engagement ring.

I replied in one simple sentence, ”why wasn’t I there giving advice in the role of a Diamond Setter?” The ring was a complete disaster and had to be totally redone.

It turned out that the head-designer had just no idea how any if the stones were to be set. The administrator used many words that can’t be used here!

Gerry, on my iPhone


How true! However, the real challenge is for someone to become an expert is they must first become a generalist.
Regards RLW


My husband Timothy Green spends his days working for a major platinum caster. As the only employee who has been a professional platinum smith and stone setter a big part of his job is to grade all of the models that come in for casting. What will work and what needs to be sent back to the CAD tech, wax carver, “designer” to be reworked so that it can be done in real life and not in another universe where the laws of physics on earth don’t apply.


Absolutely, Gerry! Isn’t this true, almost whatever the discipline? Doctors train to follow patients from presentation of symptoms to outcome, software engineers need to understand the full development lifecycle, and jewelers — even if they’re responsible for only a single part of the process — need to know what they’re handing off to the next person. Otherwise the potential for failure only goes up. It’s continuity. It’s the interfaces between steps that are as important as the steps themselves.

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This is why metalsmithing is an art/craft profession and isn’t well suited to assembly line industrialization. I wish more people understood this.

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I have had to deal with SO many rapid prototype designs that were made by people who never set a stone in their life. Finally we found a company that used experienced stone setters for the CAD designers and now we use them. I can also phone them and they know what I am talking about.

I’ve been working with a cad fellow, but this fellow has never put a graver into his hands. I had to explain every subtle setting process. It gets to a point to say “good-bye”!
I can’t waste my time teaching him setting. There are so many of these people looking for work.

I heard of a new cad-person and he knows my language.

I made a wax-prototype and from this alone he knows what I want. He works for the very-best in this city and his creations go literally…worldwide!!!

Gerry, on my iPhone