Saturday, October 19, 2013
Stonesetting with Philip Screw
I don't understand why thing has to be so difficult in Malaysia, I am not sure if it's just me, but I often feel that we are very deprived from having the right tool to do the job. When I first started in making wire jewelry, there isn't any place I could source precious metal wires, I started off with steel wires, those are hard and very harsh on my fingers, though I am glad that the newcomers these days are having easier access to jewelry making tools and materials, just imagine in the past, I will have to walk into jewelry boutiques to ask them where can I buy a ring mandrel.
Now, things aren't getting any easier, I think, at least not to me. I've recently sourced in some gold/ gold filled wires, thinking of making some of my designs with gold wires, then I realized that some of the findings, especially Swarovski Chaton Montees, of which I heavily use in my designs, do not come in Gold Plated Settings.
Most of my designs uses Swarovski Chaton Montees 53200, where, stones sized 3.8 to 4mm, I occasionally use 53201 (stone sized 4.2 to 4.4mm), yes, just 0.2mm of difference, but when they are used in my line of designs (which, mostly are tiny, precise and delicate pieces), 0.2mm could affect a design as in overall.
So there isn't any gold plated Swarovski Chaton Montees.
I did a search on Etsy, found Joyce from CrystalizedMontees, whom hand mount genuine Swarovski Crystals with silver plated, gold plated and gun metal plated settings. You gotta be check her shop out - fitting stones that size into settings are NOT easy, she does it perfectly!
Joyce was nice enough to give me a walkthrough of what is it really meant by "Chaton Montees", and then I spent at least 2 hours to go through Swarovski's product list and descriptions, then check back and forth with Joyce to finally understand how these stones could be totally customized into the way I wanted them to be. Joyce even told me how to do stonesettings (seriously, I must have done something wonderful to deserve her consultation, thanks Joyce!)
SO SHE TAUGHT ME STONESETTING!
It's just a simple setting stones into a preset 4 prongs settings, it is still stonesettings! It's nothing when you are trying to salvage one or two pieces of stones that dropped off from the prongs and you were trying to fix them back, I do that all the time, I use pliers or sometimes just my nails, but we are talking about VOLUME now, volume - yes, we are talking about fitting thousands of 3mm crystals / stones / chaton into settings to transform them to become Chaton Montees.
I don't know about you but I got excited because I am going to try to do something new!
Though I foresee challenges.
You think I can find prong pusher here in Malaysia? I Googled enough to realized that there is no one in Malaysia selling them (online, lol). There must be someone selling it out there, I am sure, but I don't know where to find them, they are NOT on social media OMG! And the only one who'd seems to have, no longer selling it. Isn't that nice?
So I sent a couple of emails out today - to Riogrande, to some sellers on eBay, to check on their price, to see if they also carries other tools that I was looking for, and to ask them what's the shipping cost from the United States to Malaysia (yucks!), while waiting, I went out for dinner with my family.
Then I had an idea (I used to have lots of ideas when I am using the toilet in the past, not these days, you would be like me too, no longer have ideas of any kind when you have a toddler that would stand or sit or scream at the toilet door watching you).
So here it is (sorry, yes, now only am I talking about what I really wanted to share), Stonesetting with Philip Screw. Well this is just an idea - yet to be tested, because I don't have any prongs for pilot test just yet.
As you can see from the first picture above, my Chaton Montees measures 4mm in size, I tested it in various size of Philip Screw, then I finally found something that fits:
The screw measures about 15.5mm wide, the space in the middle is about 4.5mm wide. This fits the 4mm montees perfectly, so theoretically, if I were to insert a setting into this hole, then fit in a stone, the whole pressing-down-the-prongs process should be pretty easy!
Pretty awesome, I think I will drill this into a chopping board so I can have a bigger platform to work on!
I will write again when I got this tested out, so check back!
Corra @ de Cor's Handmades