Poor setting projects in USA trade magazine

This is the second time I’ve seen very poor setting projects listed
with this magazine.

Am I the only setter/instructor who is finding fault with this type
of setting? Let alone putting them on the front cover of their issue.
If this was one of my students, I’d give them a ‘failing’ mark
without a moment’s hesitation.

When I do Bright-Cutting on any tube setting, my sharp “Right-Sided,
Onglette graver #2” will leave no visible ugly looking cuts
anywhere. Just why couldn’t they even put a nicer finish on also the
Cab-setting, can’t they even see where the metal is not even touching
the stone? The ‘tables’ of the tube-setting are way too high in
regards to the tube, itself! If anyone sees my error in finding fault
please write to me. off-Orchid.

I’m a darned perfectionist, if my setting isn’t 100%, it’s not

Gerry Lewy

I agree Gerry sloppy job. Once I figure out amount of metal to have
on the stone I would bright cut even before setting it and clean up
after. This poor setter was afraid of hitting the stone and was using
a flat dull graver. The metal should just peel up and click off all
in one turn. This is a chigger job!

OK, one has to agree with Gerry on this as it is becoming common to
see what appears to be poorly manufactured and/or set pieces being
depicted in trade magazines and in printed advertising.

The quality of traditional work in a number of “Trades” does give
the impression of reduced craftsmanship in the wider commercial

Having said the above, the use of magnification, for both
manufacture and photography, does open up opportunities for

In the past working under 1.75x magnification, I have felt satisfied
with a particular piece but upon checking with a 10x/20x power (or
greater), the view is far less satisfying.


Hi all

I agree with Gerry. Not having louped the piece I would say though
that the bezels on the faceted stones are too thick and the stones
are not level.

And too much of the stone is covered by the bezel.

There is a nick in the metal of the base of the middle stone. The
metal is not highly polished although that may be reflections in the

As for the cabochon there should be NO gap between the bezel and the

The bezel has not been finished evenly, the top of the bezel is very
poor quality.

If this piece was made in the middle ages it would have been
passable but in the 21 st century it is not.

all the best

I have always been mistified by poor setting in major trade mags.


Hi guys,

I happen to know one of their advertising folks. I’ll forward this
whole thread along.

I noticed it, but was too busy to say much of anything when I spoke
with her last.

Since it’s more than just me, I’ll let them know.


Hi all

In the past working under 1.75x magnification, I have felt
satisfied with a particular piece but upon checking with a 10x/20x
power (or greater), the view is far less satisfying. 

that is why I loupe all my pieces before putting them into stock.
Often find bits that need cleaning up.

all the best

Hi I am just a “hobby” jeweler and I am wondering if someone could
post a copy of the photo on this site so I can see what is being
discussed. It’s got me wondering, and maybe others would like to see
too what is being discussed as a pointer, to help learn this craft
better. Thanks and so sorry if I’m being a pain. I would reallylike
to see this, if at all possible

Thank you very much.

I dunno, looks “beautifully hand-crafted; organic, earthy and
rustic” to me. Probably costs a fortune to get setting work like that
done if some of the current ‘cutting edge’ designers’ work and
pricing is any indication. Who are we to judge such things anyway?
I’m sure someone thinks it’s beautiful.

Dave Phelps (with tongue inserted firmly in cheek)

ps. The thing that makes it even more ironic is that the caption for
that photo is “Setting Pretty”. Kinda makes ya wonder where the
trade is going, doesn’t it? At least it wasn’t a CAD rendering pawned
off as a photo of a finished piece. Another one of my pet peeves with
the trade mags and our trade in general.

I dunno, looks "beautifully hand-crafted; organic, earthy and
rustic" to me. Probably costs a fortune to get setting work like
that done if some of the current 'cutting edge' designers' work and
pricing is any indication. Who are we to judge such things anyway?
I'm sure someone thinks it's beautiful. 

Here we go again…

Andy Cooperman, Metalsmith

Hello all,

We at MJSA have, as you can imagine, been reading this particular
Orchid thread with great interest. We’ve always appreciated the
comments and critiques from the Orchid community, and that still
holds true: It only helps us to improve. While I encourage
constructive criticism, I would ask only two things:

  1. While we welcome your comments about the magazine, please
    remember that this ring is from a designer who put much thought and
    long hours into its creation, and who may well be following this
    thread as well. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that some readers
    have commented that they liked the ring’s design and appreciated the
    designer’s creativity.) As you post your comments, please remember
    this human element, and think how you would feel if you had been
    asked by a magazine if it could feature your ring on its cover, and
    now were reading the comments being posted. As I said, constructive
    criticism is good, but I’ve also seen some comments where the
    "constructive" aspect wasn’t very apparent.

  2. If this thread continues, my hope is that it can become an
    opportunity to share setting techniques, maybe even to show samples
    of settings that you feel are exemplary. As Phillip insightfully
    noted, seeing a piece under 1.75x magnification does open up
    opportunities for criticism, but hopefully it also opens up the
    opportunity for learning.

Gerry, I’ve been told that you contacted our office and offered your
services to help with our educational sessions as well as magazine
articles. I will be in touch with you offline to follow up.

Thank you all,
Rich Youmans
Publisher, MJSA Journal

I am wondering if someone could post a copy of the photo on this
site so I can see what is being discussed" 

Suzanne, Just go to the Ganoksin home page and look up the original

Jerry in Kodiak

Photos were attached to the first post on the subject -

but you can see a cover shot here:

Actually, I think it’s beautiful.

Barbara Blaschke

I do not condone or try to justify bad work in any manner, but I am
very uncomfortable the way Gerry has seen fit to single out a small
section of a ring and shouted to the whole world how terrible the
work is.

While the setting might not be up to his perfect standards, one must
keep in mind that the picture that Gerry posted is about 40 mm in
size on a computer screen and the stones are about 2-3 mm in diameter
in real life —a vast difference visually.

Also, causing needless harm to a goldsmith who Gerry does not know,
but who is certainly known to the MSJA magazine, and damaging his
reputation to that magazine is very unprofessional in, my opinion.

Especially when the damage he has caused was completely unwarranted,
because there is nothing inherently wrong or bad with the ring in

It might be good to reflect on the consequences of such shrill
condemnation, particularly if the ring has been sold, or the fact
that because of his unfair criticism, the ring has now become

Even the title in this thread is inflammatory and I personally think
an apology from Gerry is called for.

Perhaps Gerry could show how to do a setting of comparable size and
magnification that is up to the high standards he works towards.


I notice the cover quote is “SITTING PRETTY Jobs Made Easier by
Super Tools” and I’m reminded that quality comes from the user of the


It is easy to criticize any stone setting work, ANY!, when viewed
under highmagnification. Before criticizing another’s work, go take
a high magnification photo of your own work. It is likely you will
see some of the same things you are criticizing.


Hi all

Yes reality can be harsh in this trade but a low grade piece is
still low grade. You want constructive well tell the jeweller to go
to gem setting class and learn how to set properly. So what if the
design idea is good the finished piece is not quality. If I had put
that ring before my teacher I would have been told " Take it apart
and do it properly! Don’t be lazy!"

Orchid is not about molly coddling jewellers feelings but honest,
often brutally honest, criticism and constructive methods of how to

So some real world critiques:

The inside of the bezel is not neat and clean.

One of the faceted stones is not level a very basic low quality

The bezel around the cab is not down on the stone a very low quality
basic setting.

This piece shows low quality finish and laziness/low quality in the

To put this on the cover of a magazine is just a joke, a very bad

Creativity is one thing quality finish is another.

Sorry if reality hurts your feelings but don’t put yourself up as an
exemplar if your work is below apprentice level.

all the best

Been following this post. I do have a piece of advice for all who
have read or responded to this thread.

I have had a few pieces of my jewelry blown up for printing in
magazines andfor promotional purposes. I learned very early on that
any piece used for this purpose needs to be examined under 50 x
magnification then rework as needed before it goes to be

I am very good at what I do and have been making jewelry for over 40
years as a living. I have for 30 years kept a minimum of a 3 month
back log of workto do on my bench.

Sometimes I get under pressure and have to let stones pass that are
very securely set but not perfectly set. Not what I like to do but
it does happen. Ido check every piece under my microscope before it
leaves my bench.

We all make mistakes and I will bet we all have on occasion let less
then perfect pieces slip by. That said, critical critique is always
appreciated andshould be accepted as a way to learn how to do
something better the next time. Not as a personal attract on the
person doing the work. We old timers are really teachers and trying
to pass along what we know to others here.

Some of us are better with a hammer or engraver then we are with
words. We are not all skilled in everything but most of us do try to
do the best wecan.

Let’s all make lots of jewelry, learn from our mistakes and those of
others and be better tomorrow then what we are today.


I have learned over 45 years in this trade no matter how good you are
at this craft there is always someone better. I teach jewelry design
through 3d computer software to students all over the world but does
that mean i am the best? No and that means to me i can always get
better cause my goal is to be the best. The setting job done here was
the best this artist/jeweler could do. Gerry isnt the best setter or
teacher either. But to the point here is choosing this piece for the
magazine nespa?