How to create a wire basket setting for faceted gemstones

I’ve been trying to challenge myself with each new project and am always scouring the web for tutorials from experienced metalsmiths. I recently picked up a small handful of cheap stones I could practice making different settings for and I found these two helpful tutorials that walk you through the techniques.

1. Soham Harrison – has a fabulous YouTube channel and shares some wonderful techniques and advice. Definitely check him out if you’re an aspiring metalsmith like me.

Basket Setting part 1

Basket Setting part 2

2. Etsy Metal blog – this is a written tutorial and shows a variation on assembling a wire setting. This one seemed easier to get started, but I think does require more clean up which can be a pain if you don’t have a flex shaft. Fortuantely, I just got myself one and it’s a huge timesaver!

http://etsymetal.blogspot.ca/2010/07/how-to-make-simple-wire-claw-prong.html

Since it was my first attempted, I decided to use brass wire and a teardrop shaped stone.  I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt. The next version will be in silver!

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Start from scratch with brass wire and an amethyst

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After soldering the setting pieces together. It’s easier to get everything in line with this method, but you do have to saw out the middle and file it quite a bit to clean it up so the stone will fit nicely

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After removing the center. This still needs to have a seat cut into the top wire so the stone sits snugly inside the setting and a lot of polishing to smooth and shine it up before the stone goes in.

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A quick test fit before soldering the setting to the ring

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Volia! Not bad for a first try. Next time I’d like to ball the end of the prongs so they’re a little more attractive and may try positioning them so there’s two on either side

If you come across any other tutorials like this, please share them! I found it really difficult to find detailed tutorials for creating settings for non-circular stones. Fortunately, wire settings are pretty easy to adapt to other shapes, but I’d love to get some tips and tricks for making it easier to deal with a variety of stone shapes and cuts.

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