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Pumice Wheels for setting

I had my diamond dealer assist me in finishing off an order I needed
’fast’. His jeweller saved me much time in casting the ring and
finishing the “.??.. setting”. I inspected the center 1.20 carat RBC
diamond head…plier marks still on the lower parts of the claws.
Also the pear shape ‘vee-shaped’ end-bezels also had many file and
sanding marks and then the ring was polished and Rhodium plated. For
a simple.65 cents for a little Pumice wheel, all of these marks
should have been removed…Am I supposed to inspect and view a ring
like this with my 10x power loupe? My diamond dealer was little
’disturbed’ over this error.

Its a lot better for me to do all the work myself, and not let
anyone else attempt a simple setting job and to polish with many
marks still on the ring…faulty decision on the jeweller. I always
tell my students to spend at least 30% of their time in the basic
clean-up…“the best setting job is thrown away if filing marks are
still on them”…moral of this story, be very critical of your work,

you might never know who is going to view it…Gerry!..:>(

moral of this story, be very critical of your work, you might never
know who is going to view it... 

Good point Gerry. I have a friend. Let’s call him Billy Bob. He does
silver jewelry. His work is sloppy, messy soldering, poor finishing,
firescale everywhere, and poorly polished. He and I have sat side by
side selling at the local rock show and I will be selling pieces for
3-4 times what he prices his work at. He can’t figure out why his
stuff doesn’t sell well.

I won’t put a piece out for sale if I’m not satisfied that it’s my
best work. When setting up for a show of I find a piece with fire
scale I put it back to be polished later. I would be horrified if a
customer was looking at one of my pieces and pointed out a flaw. At
shows I’m constantly busy with the polish cloth wiping off
fingerprints. My son calls me OCD boy.

When my son works with me and wants to call it good enough when it
could be better I tell him, “don’t be a Billy Bob’” Now it’s become a
common phrase around the house. I hope we don’t slip and say it in
front of Billy Bob.

Note: "The names have been changed to protect the lazy. “dun dun
dun, dun dun dun daa,”

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Made me smile to read this Gerry. Every single jewelery shop I’ve
ever worked for was just as critical and particular as you are. We
louped all work before and after the final polishing step. I compare
it to bodywork on cars (which I used to do) If you have overspray or
orange-peel in one square inch of a quarter-panel and let it go out
of the shop you’re only leaving yourself open for the same type of
criticism. If you want it done right do it yourself : )

Margie Hand carved master models. - Superior carving wax.

Rick…Agree 100%!!! Any work you intend to display or sell
reflects who you are and your culture (of lack thereof). Anyone who
is a professional should look at it that way.

On the other hand, I suggest this view need to be tempered with
reality. As a teacher, I deal with ‘perfection’ all the time. I have
found that students can become quickly disillusioned if they cannot
reach an expected (or anticipated) level of perfection. So, as a
realist, I tell them, “That is good enough for now, move on”. On the
other side of the coin, a previous teacher at our school demanded
perfection from the very beginning. Obviously, students who have
little or no skill could not meet her demands and, after some trial
and tribulations, they left the jewelry dept for other disciplines.

I find a measured skill growth a better approach. Perhaps your
friend never learned that as his knowledge base grew, so should his
skill and attention to detail. This is very important when working
with new ‘jewelers’. I tell them, “This is not well done, but don’t
dwell on it…learn and do it better the next time”. Result, many
of my longer term students are now inspecting my work always looking
for a flaw!!

After all, I think it was Winston Churchill who once said, “The
secret to success is going from failure to fairlure without losing
your enthusiasm”.

Sorry if I’m a bit off-thread.

Cheers from Don in SOFL