Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Interweave (March 20, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 10.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #45,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #25 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Jewelry & Beadwork > Jewelry
Just received Gemstone Settings last week, before promised date. Quickly flipped through and was excited to see excellent pictures and layout. I've been metalsmithing for 5 years so moved rapidly through the tools, gems, etc. overviews. Then got to the meat of the book. The introductions are laid out quite nicely, it's as you start to look for more details on fabricating the settings that the book starts to disappoint. At one point there is a good pictorial description of cold connections, but I bought the book for gem settings. I also have John Cogswell's "Creative Stonesetting" which is a wonderful book. Has very good verbal descriptions, but lacks the pictorial set-by-step. Frankly, its a bit beyond me and was looking for something more accessible. As an intermediate metalsmith, what I really long for is a book that doesn't start at the beginning steps and then stay there for a third of the pages. Certainly describe specialized tools, etc. for the particular subject matter; but I think its highly unlikely that someone is picking up a book on settings as an introduction to metalsmithing. You've probably done bezel settings and perhaps tube and are looking to build technique. Gemstone Settings was on the right track with photos and layout, but falls short in guiding you to new technique. Too bad it doesn't deliver on its potential.
While this book is full of information and beautiful pictures, I did not find it to be an in-depth study of gem-setting at all, as it was described to be. Perhaps if one is already an experienced jeweler, the lack of detail in showing/describing various procedures would not be a problem, but then I question why an experienced jeweler would be buying this book. In my opinion, the book tries to cover too much material and as a result, is skimpy on much-needed details regarding actual procedures. I am keeping the book as ultimately I'm sure I will find it helpful, particularly in the area of individual gemstone descriptions/traits, and because of the beautiful photography included, but the book will not be useful to me for learning in-depth procedures regarding gem-setting. It is a good overview of various techniques, but I need something truly in-depth. I feel the description of the book is very misleading.
Let me preface this review with a little about the author. Anastasia Young is from London, a graduate of the Royal College of Art and a working Designer and Jeweler. You may remember her previous publication for Interweave, The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques.There are a lot of gem setting books on the market but what I think sets this one apart is not so much the techniques pages but the chapters surrounding them.The book is divided into four chapters...in Chapter One Young looks at design - the process (from inspiration to sketch) - the history of gem set jewels - the process of stone selection and what goes into choosing THE stone - Outsourcing complicated or tedious portions of a project - and the "how to's" of taking commissions.Chapter Two - is all about the Gems - a fairly comprehensive Gemstone Directory with information covering availability, common treatments, care and handling of each stone.Chapter Four - is the Reference material - measurement conversion charts - ring size charts and Mohs Scale. This section includes detailed diagrams of stone cuts and templates for settings.....last but certainly not least - the Chapter the book is all about the Techniques Directory. This chapter begins with an in depth look at the tools used to set and finished with almost 150 pages of various tube setting to styles. Over 50 settings are covered from prongs to fancy settings that cover Tension and Cage setting.With a Suggested Retail of $29.99 this book is well worth the expense and would be most ideally used by a student who picks it up to supplement a workshop or course.
I received this book two days ago, and it has been such a pleasure to read it. I am sure this is now one of my favorite jewelry books. It has beautiful pictures, and the content is just perfect for my necessities at a very good price. This is the book I was looking for, since I realized my attraction for gemstone setting. It is not a beginner metalsmithing book, and I am glad, there is some information about the basic techniques, but it is not the repetitive pattern used on most books with 1/3 of the content describing the same very basic information. I like the chapter covering the gemstones types, it has beautiful pictures and excellent description, however I wished it was included pricing information, to compare them with some cost information. The techniques described are just what I want to learn, and the author selected beautiful and very convenient pieces that appealed my taste and show how the technique can create a beautiful piece of art. I really love the examples used, and the gallery used in this book. Even though I can understand the techniques, I wished it was included a little more in-depth detailed description for the more advanced techniques. In general I appreciate the work done on this book, and I am so glad I bought it.
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