I would strongly recommend trying to find a local setter whose work you admire and getting them to teach you privately. This would be much more efficient and much more cost-effective.
- You would have full, personal attention and could progress at your own rate.
- You save travel and board expenses.
- You wouldn’t have to take off from work.
- Since they are local, you could make the rounds and see their works-in-progress before choosing.
- Perhaps the biggest bonus: you would have time to practice step x before going on to step y (by meeting with them, say, once a week). Practice is crucial with anything connected to graver work, so short, concentrated courses are not likely to oversee and develop this crucial skill adequately.
- It’s always good to have a local mentor for consultation in the future.
Judging by your photos, your work is super clean, so I am guessing you have a good enough eye to recognize a good setter, especially if you see his works-in-progress (essential!!!). The work should look good every step of the way–no choppy cuts that “get cleaned up later”! You should go to someone who can teach you to set with only very simple hand tools–you can always get fancy tools to speed up work later on, should you so desire. I learned from a real master–apart from drilling the original hole, no electrical tools were used! No burs in a flex shaft–everything was cut with hand-sharpened, hand-held gravers. Every cut was perfectly smooth and shiny and beautiful to behold --not just the finishing, final cuts. And his stones never fell out over time. You should probably look for someone old–or someone who learned from someone old…:-)…
Janet in Jerusalem