First question is, what’s high end? The reason I think its relevant
is it determines just how much effort/expense its wise to put into
One sticking point is what glue? Will wood glues adhere to stones?
Will something like hxtal adhere to wood? And yes, virtually any glue
will suck the life out of the stones. So maybe use foilbacks, no
sucking involved. If you want genuine stones cuz its hi end maybe
experiment with making foilbacks, or their equivalent, with genuines.
Perhaps one of the “chrome” look spray paints might do.
My gut feeling is that whatever stones you use, they will look
better in bezels, whether they are actual mechanical bezels or
strictly for show. Bezels will serve to define and hi lite the
stones. Every picture likes a frame.
Bezel attachment. If you use thru holes you could set the stones in
tubes, with a small step (thinking counterbore here) and swedge the
backside to hold them in. Like diamond accents on onyx. Or you could
thread the tubes and the holes and screw those puppies in, with a
small dab of threadlocker. Will your wood take the machining? If you
use blind holes you COULD make closed back bezels but eventually dirt
will get in there. That is the primary reason for open back settings,
So all that and probably more might be influenced by your target
price point. If its really hi end, I think you’d want to insure that
nothing ever falls out, it looks finely done and is comfy to wear.
Ok, now about the whole ‘glue’ thing. On fine jewelry glue is often
a sign of lazy craftsmanship, or so is the prevailing attitude. And
I’d agree. The mechanical reason against glue is that sooner or later
all glues fail. But wood jewelry as you intend to make might lie
somewhere between fine and costume. So what are the rules? I dunno,
its your gig, up to you and your clients I suppose. But the more
people are spending the more craftsmanship counts, the more they want
to see that you addressed all the fine points.
So I’d start with your pricing and do what fits into that scheme.