Who wants to get stuck with responsibility for some Amateur so
called jewelers breaking of an expensive stone? Besides have you
ever tried to pry a setters secrets from him?
Think I'll step out from behind my curtain on this one... I was
taught setting techniques from several people, and worked out
solutions to difficult problems on my own, by doing research in
libraries or by observing the finished or failed work of others.
Most of the needed on setting practises is available in
the repair department. Learning what works often is a process of
eliminating what doesn't.
I'm not exactly clear on what issues Ringman has with the
stonesetters, but all of the ones I have known would share knowledge
and "secrets" with me because I was genuinely interested in doing
good work, and by the time I would be good enough to "put them out
of a job", they would already be dead from overwork and stress, or
just plain old age.
Like my fellow Canadian, Gerry, I would love to share "secrets" of
stone setting before I shed my mortal coil. Anyone who is crazy
enough to enter this kind of work environment needs a good mentor as
well as a psychiatrist. The money isn't great, the respect from most
retailers is abysmal, but the satisfaction of doing a great job and
the knowledge that you have made the end-user really, really happy
is worth the effort and some of the pain.
Many retailers who purchase from manufacturers could not tell the
difference between good quality settings and poor ones. This has
fueled the surge in offshore merchandise, where the labour is so low
that the failure rate of settings is offset by the reduced cost of
the people doing the work. The settings that make it to the showcase
can fail soon after being worn, and, hence..."jewellery is a
freakin' waste o' money, honey..." customer dissatisfaction 3D
Yes, good setting work is a rare thing, but it's also a "care"
thing. If retailers don't care, then they deserve the returns and
the angry customers. If they realize that good stonesetting is an
integral part of the desireablity of jewellery, they will place more
of an emphasis on finding, hiring, contracting with, or assisting in
the training of skilled setters.....or it's `curtains' for them.