I love books, and every now and then a book comes along that steals your heart. Creative Stonesetting is such a book. The author, John Cogswell is currently a teacher at SUNY NY. He has also taught at many other metals programs and has served as a technical consultant and contributing author for several contemporary jewelry texts including; Metals Technic, Contemporary Silver and The Penland Book of Jewelry. He was also the 2006 inductee into the National Metalsmiths Hall of Fame and was the 2007 Artist of the Year for Touchstone Center for Crafts.
I have never met John, but after the book I feel like I have. He writes with humor, intelligence and personality. He explains everything you want or need to know about stone setting.
I was concerned that the book would be too advanced for me, but was very happy to see that it is a treasure for everyone from basic to advanced jewelers. Starting with a basic bezel setting, John takes you through all types of prong, bezel, flush, tube, and other settings. The book also covers both setting in a mounting you have created or one that is commercially purchased. He explains how to choose the tools and fabricate the proper setting for any stone that might be giving you a headache, with great results! The over 600 illustrations are clear and very informative, the photos lovely.
One of the things that John puts forth that really stuck with me, is the idea of finishing all surfaces. And not just finishing them from the perspective of it should look good front, back and sides, as in neat work, but more as in putting time into the design of all surfaces of your piece. To paraphrase him:You dont just slap a pinback on it , duct tape will hold it to the body just the same! In all things Design! This is not just a sit on the bookshelf looking pretty book but a true resource that will be reached for again and again over the years. A, if you will pardon the pun, gem of a book!
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