Whether to cast or fabricate depends on your set-up. In my case I do
no casting except sometimes to get a suitable blank by sand casting,
then everything is fabricated. I think fabricating one-offs takes the
same time or less than casting. Carve the wax, or carve the metal?
When you have carved the metal you are there.
A pendant setting can be fabricated easily using a strip of metal
with the seat either cut into the metal, or by soldering a separate
seat inside the setting. This applies to either a full bezel or one
that is cut and scalloped into a claw setting. The sides of the
setting can be pierced or left solid. With deep stones there is a
large area to play with because the sides of the setting must be as
deep as the stone.
Deep stones in a pendant tend to roll and sit sideways unless
preventive measures are taken. One method is to make the base of the
setting at least as wide as, or wider than the top of the stone; ie
straight sides, or a reverse taper, or an extra rim at the bottom of
the setting to make it wider. Another method is to make the bale very
wide so that the chain is hard to twist - assuming a flexible
necklace is used.