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Transparent facetted stones in wood jewelry


#1

i am going to buy facetted stones in the 10$-40$ range and glue them
into my very high end designer “wood jewelry”, at least that’s what i
call it. Unfortunately i have not made many settings in my experience
so i plan to cut a seat in the wood so i can sit the stone in level
with the surface- pave style?? I know that this is optimally not the
way to do this cause you get no light behind the stone, but i have
done it before with dark red garnet stones and it looks really good.
So i plan to make 40 -50 pieces with stones glued in appropriate
places to make the lines in the wood accent the stone and visa versa
in as painterly style as i can, my questions to the community are
that i am looking for any tips, or criticism to this idea; I know
that first off i need to just learn the art of settings as the best
solution, aside form that; Does anyone know where i might find
stones in the price range i quoted?? Should i glue prongs in the wood
as opposed to just gluing the stone, or can an argument be made for
gluing a transparent stone down to a wood surface and it will still
look reasonably beautiful taking into account the price of the
stones, or not??, Possibly are there facetted opaqe stones??, oh
yea another thing i need to learn, how to facet gemstone, which i
cannot wait to learn, thanks in advance,

dave
soulwoodjewelry.com


#2
i am going to buy facetted stones in the 10$-40$ range and glue
them into my very high end designer "wood jewelry", at least that's
what i call it. Unfortunately i have not made many settings in my
experience so i plan to cut a seat in the wood so i can sit the
stone in level with the surface- pave style?? 

I absolutely hate the idea, but if you insist… Why can’t you set
stones in brass tubing and glue the tubing. In that way holes can be
drilled in wood to allow light to enter stones, and stones will be
secured without glue.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3

Dave,

Fascinating idea, using wood with I also have some sticks
of “gem woods”, ebony and such, that were presents from my father in
law a couple of years ago, that I had put aside out of lack of ideas
for what to do with.

I doubt you will get much help from the goldsmiths and silversmiths
with respect to using glue to mount your gems.

The people who will more likely help you are some art jewelers who
are willing to depart from traditional methods.

I would say that you should strongly consider opals, rather than
faceted stones.

  1. You will find a great many finished opals in the price range you
    seek.

  2. You will find a lot of opal rough which you can carve and polish
    to fit the shapes of your wood.

  3. They are transluscent, a quality that you are looking for.

  4. A dark wood background would be an outstanding contrast.

  5. They are one of the only gems I know in which epoxy is actually
    considered a legitimate part of the construction, at least in the
    case of doublets and triplets. If you glue of piece of opal on a wood
    base, then glue a glass cap on top of that, you would essentially be
    making an opal triplet.

Another possibility would be to create a tension mount. Cut some of
your wood into a tuning fork whose apeture is slightly narrower than
the gem. Cut a seat for a pressure fit. Mount the gem. Then find a
way to close the tuning fork to maintain the pressure.

I’d be curious to see how it goes.

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#4

Spalter:

A traditional faceted gemstone does not need to be lit from behind;
the pavilion (base) of the stone is cut at an angle that makes it
reflect light back to the viewer. This brings up a potential problem
with glue. The light reflection in a faceted stone depends on light
bouncing at an angle off of a transparent, polished surface. Glue,
especially transparent epoxy, prevents light from bouncing off of the
junction between stone and air. Try immersing a stone in water to see
what I mean.

I facet stones, and I sometimes use epoxy to mount them in the
machine. The stones look completely dead until the adhesive is
removed from the pavilion. Opaque stones are sometimes faceted, try
searching for “rose cut” stones. The rose cut has a flat back, rather
than a pointed pavilion. This limits the amount of internal
reflections, but that is hardly a problem with opaque materials.

Perhaps someone here will have a good solution to mounting stone on
wood, but keep in mind that people who work in precious metal
generally don’t use many adhesives. You might need to check forums
with more woodworkers for ideas.


#5
I absolutely hate the idea, but if you insist... Why can't you set
stones in brass tubing and glue the tubing. In that way holes can
be drilled in wood to allow light to enter stones, and stones will
be secured without glue. 

i know what you mean, i am not too crazy about it either, which is
why i thought i might glue prongs in the wood, but going along with
what you are saying, how will i get light to a stone set into a wood
cuff bracelet or bangle, i make alot of these? Also i have made only
one cuff bracelet with a triangular facetted garnet, placed at the
end of a splalt line, so it looked kindof cool but i trashed the idea
cause i didn’t want to glue and i know that you are supposed to have
light behind the stone somehow, but my daughter and about 20 other
people that have seen this cuff love it to death and keep telling me
that i should do more like it, and thus the "inexpensive stone"
idea, also am not a jeweler as far as stones go, but hope to do
it the old school-correct way as soon as i get that together, and
thanks for your reply,

dave


#6

Ive been doing some work with stones and wood of late – make a
setting which you then set into the wood. The setting is glued (or
not, riveted perhaps) not the stone.


#7
A traditional faceted gemstone does not need to be lit from
behind; the pavilion (base) of the stone is cut at an angle that
makes it reflect light back to the viewer. 

This is true, but needs to be phrased differently. Every gemstone cut
based on index of refraction. Index of refraction can be looked at as
how much more light bends inside stone compared to air.

This relationship defines critical angle which controls how much
light would reflect from back of the pavilion of a stone. By using
glue, this relationship is no longer valid because refractive index
of glue is higher than air.

In simple terms, the critical angle changes and most of the light is
going to leak through the back, rendering gemstone dark and lifeless.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#8
know what you mean,, i am not too crazy about it either, which is
why i thought i might glue prongs in the wood,,, but going along
with what you are saying, how will i get light to a stone set into
a wood cuff bracelet or bangle 

One way would be to drill completely through. After setting is glued,
the bottom will be opened. Another way is to use coronet type
settings. Then light will have a chance to enter from the sides.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#9

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
it.

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,
to clean.

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.


#10
A traditional faceted gemstone does not need to be lit from
behind; the pavilion (base) of the stone is cut at an angle that
makes it reflect light back to the viewer. 

well thankyou matthew, for all the info, i am going to make an
attempt to insert prongs into the wood if that’s the case, or try to
set into metal tubing like leonid suggested, really i must take a
setting course, dvd, or read about it,it is very interesting, dave


#11

Dave,

The best route to take is to study the work of a jeweler who has
already done this successfully. Sharon Church

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/4j

did a heart brooch of carved wood with diamonds set in it. I was
lucky enough to be at a talk she did at Umass Dartmouth. She
explained that she had tube set the stones, drilled a seat for them
in the wood and affixed the tube setting with epoxy. Take a look at
her work for some ideas and inspiration. Tube settings aren’t
terribly difficult. I would recommend getting some cheap stones
(cz’s) and trying a few practice settings before diving in with the
good stuff. After you are a master tube setter, get some cheap wood
and practice achieving the perfect fit of the tube setting in the
wood.

Happy Making!
Kim
www.kobrienjewelry.supermarkethq.com


#12

Check out the book The Art of Jewelry: Wood: Techniques, Projects,
Inspiration by Terry Taylor. I came across this book at the library.
I don’t remember if it covers tube settings, but it definitely covers
metal inlay and adhesives.

Have fun!
Pam Farren


#13

Hello Dave,

I make hardwood knitting needles and add silver and faceted stones
to the ends. The best way I have found to attach the stones is to
solder a sterling bezel or SnapTite head to the flat head of a small
wood screw. Drill an appropriately small hole so that the screw can
be easily twisted into place. Put a tiny bit of wood glue in the hole
(a toothpick works well) and twist the screw into the hole. After the
glue has dried, set the stone in the head.

Another idea for you to consider,
Judy in Kansas


#14

You can also buy silver settings for the stone. Solder a piece of
silver wire to the bottom of the setting. Drill and cut a hole in the
wood so that the setting fits deeply leaving the stone at the
surface. Drill a tight hole for the wire soldered to the setting to
protrude from the back of the wood portion by a couple of
millimeters. Put a small metal rod that just fits to the bottom of
the setting in a vise and place the setting so that the rod fits to
the bottom of the silver setting and supports it. The silver wire
will be sticking up above the wood. Gently peen the wire with a
hammer to make a rivet head. The ease of setting the stone will
depend upon how deeply you buried it in the wood. I know this will
work with a hard wood such as ebony. Soft wood–maybe not.

As has been noted, a tube setting might be easier. I have also put
ivory inlay in ebony for jewelry. That works well.

If you use cabochon settings, there is still no reason not to add
rivets to secure the metal and stone to the wood. The idea of just
gluing stones into holes in wood is not a very good one. Much of a
facetted stone’s sparkle and fire would be extinguished leaving it a
dull hole in beautiful wood.

Gerald Vaughan