Prong setting, take 1

I started Lucy Walker’s prong setting class, and I’ve learned so much already. I’m attempting to set this beautiful labradorite:

These little saw marks (which in retrospect were probably too big!) mark where the prongs will sit:

The soldering operation is really complicated – you can only do a pair of prongs each time, and you have to do each subsequent pair without melting your previous work:

For the record, I am not doing what I was supposed to do, in so many ways. I used the wrong type of wire, I don’t have enough copper “castles” to pull the heat away from finished work … I could go on and on – but I’ll spare you!

Here is a glimmer of what it might look like once it’s set:

Here is it with the jump ring at the top, all the prongs in place, and ready for polishing and setting.

Things went screaming downhill from here, though, because I didn’t follow the directions!

I had two choices for the setting: (1) use round wire, cut indents into the setting, and then solder, or (2) use half round wire – flat on the inside – in conjunction with the layout above. Somehow I scrambled the two approaches (ring without notches and round wire), so the prongs didn’t have enough surface area to stay attached.

Unfortunately, the whole thing basically imploded when I was trying to set the stone. I was super frustrated in the moment, because a half day’s worth of work is headed to recycling. But, I learned a lot from getting this far, so I think the second pass will be easier.

I had to order half round wire, and I am now in the process of rewatching the videos so I don’t make any more mistakes. Stay tuned for another post where I share the final piece, done the right way.

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