For the past six months I was involved in a large project of creating bejeweled silver cuffs with prong-set gems for a client. It was a daunting project, I had never done anything like it before. Had rarely, in fact, ever prong-set a stone – just bezel settings, much less soldered these settings onto large sterling cuffs. What great practice for a season! Now I am completely comfortable soldering numerous settings on a piece and prong setting all sorts of gems.
This is why I love to take on custom work; it is not something I would normally design in my own work and frequently forces me to stretch my scope and learn new techniques – plus I get paid for learning and practicing.
You can see the bottom photo has just five stones on it. Each project got consistently more involved. By the time I was working on the last cuff in the above photo I was soldering on prong settings for 37 stones. Pretty awesome! Now I would love to make one for myself, but I’ll have to save up for that. On this last cuff the cost of the settings alone was about $150. This client supplied gems and sterling cuffs from her own massive collection; a bathtub full of gems.