Friends-- I am reaching a place in my work where I feel I need to
learn a lot more about setting facetted stones. I have Robert
Wooding’s videos, but I don’t feel that they are sufficient. The two
workshops that I have located are the Master’s Symposium at the
Revere Academy and Stone Setting (level I, I guess) at the New
Approach school. They cost the same (a lot for me right now, though
not to say not worth it), and are both far. I would appreciate
opinions on which place would be better (I’ve been to Revere, and
loved it), or suggestions of another option. I live in the Chicago
area, and it would seem there would be something available here, or
near, but if there is, I haven’t found it. Locally, of course, it
wouldn’t have to be an intensive workshop.
Any help will be much appreciated!
Noel, By far, hands down, the premier school to go to is New
Approach… Don’t even question the price because when you are done
with the first day of class you will know it was well worth it… I
took the advanced stone and the platinum fabrication courses there,
and they more than paid for themselves in no time… Blaine is a
great guy and an AWESOME teacher… No question in my mind that’s
where you need to go… Marc Williams
hi noel i can recommend first hand alan revere. his teaching skills
are outstanding and he defiantly made a big difference in our stone
setting at our factory in guatemala. if a person can over come a
language briar (spanish) and with basic translations can improve on a
group of people techniques, you can defiantly trust him. haim
I have been to both the Revere Academy and the New Approach School,
as an instructor and as a student (yes, even I still take
workshops). Both schools are excellent. You may pay a little more
for the workshops, but the level of instruction and the studio
facilities make these workshops a bargain for the serious bench
Blaine Lewis offers a very intense, comprehensive stone setting
class in a state-of-the-art studio. You can watch the instructor
working through a video microscope on a large screen monitor. The
stonesetting class covers a lot of different types of setting
techniques. Blaine is an excellent instructor. I sent my son to
learn stonesetting from Blaine.
The Revere Academy also teaches stonesetting as a part of their
regular curriculum. The classes are intensive, and geared toward
professionals. The Master’s Symposium is a little different. Every
year, Alan Revere invites prominent master craftsmen from around the
world to teach a five day workshop. I will be teaching a bezel
setting workshop this year. Five days of bezels! There a lot of
different types of bezels, different styles of bezels, and different
ways to make and set bezels. I will be doing more than just
demonstrating the proper way to make and set a stone in a bezel…I
want each person to develop their own “signature” style of setting.
Whitney Boin’s “Post” ring is an example of a bezel that only covers
the girdle of the stone. Todd Reed’s bezels hold rough diamonds, and
the way that he closes the bezel is an important element of his
I don’t know of any schools in the Chicago area that teach
stonesetting to the level that you would find at Revere or New
Approach. Most schools and workshops seem to offer more to beginning
jewelers. For the most part, they tend to use cabochon stones and
silver. I think you may be at the point of seriously upgrading your
skill level, in terms of technique and materials.
A workshop at either school would be money well spent.
Noel, I can tell you that the $$ spent on either class is probably
worth it. Last summer I took Blaine’s class on stone setting at Kate
Wolf’s in Maine. It was 5 intense days and at times I wonder why did
sign up for this class.
I have Robert Wooding's videos, <snip>
Blaine either worked with him or apprenticed with him I don’t
remember (Sorry Blaine) But he has taken the fear out of stone
setting for me!
We started with simple settings, bezel, gypsy or flush and went
right thru to channel setting princess cuts. The only thing I did not
try was the pave! Well, I was not the fastest student and just barely
set one of each type but what I learned has come back to me ten fold.
I maybe struggling with a free form cab and suddenly something
Blaine said in class comes screaming into my head and viola. If you
really want to add faced stones to your designs and not just rounds I
highly recommend Blaine’s class! BTW, I checked out your work – very
Barbara Smith-McLaughlin www.taylorriverjewelrydesign.com
I highly recommend the New Approach School – it is wonderful!! I
don’t set many stones, but the logic that goes into the process
doesn’t leave you. In addition, one aspect of the class that I found
especially useful is the setup. Blaine demonstrates by setting
stones under a microscope that is hooked up to a very large
television screen in the wall. It is impossible not to see and
understand exactly what to look for and how something should "be"
when you are finished. Then when you sit down to set stones of your
own, you have a very good understanding of whether or not you are on
the right track immediately. Plus the classes are small – 6 or 8
people, which means you have the opportunity to ask lots of
questions and get lots of help when you need it!!
New Approach, Blaine Lewis is THE guy. His school is state of the
art and you will make your money back in no time once you learn his
techniques. It is a wise investment. I am a satisfied alumni.
Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio
Noel, if it isn’t feasable for you to travel far away for a class
check and see what the GIA has to offer. They have satellite
classes all over the country. I took their diamond setting class in
St. Louis in 91. It was a week long and was excellant. I’d be
really surprised if they didn’t have several traveling teachers near
God Bless you