I’ve loved art all my life, and after drawing various sketches, making works of art with pastels and oils, origami, and various arts and crafts to decorate my home, I thought that I’d really like to learn to make jewelry. I was hesitant at first as I had no idea how to do everything, and I was especially nervous about setting stones. I knew how to put clasps in place, select and appropriately measure lengths of various materials, but again, stone-setting was new to me.

Creative Stonesetting by John Cogswell was introduced to me by my fellow metalsmithing pal who found the book on an Amazon. I thought it’d be right up my alley, so I ordered my own copy. Anyway, so, here it is for anyone who may read my blog.

The book is awesome, it goes into detail in the actual “how to” of setting stones. The book doesn’t presume that it’s readers know anything about stone-setting and goes to great lengths to explain the process in a very clear way. I highly recommend it if any of you want to really make some serious jewelry and do it well.

Though, I gotta say, if you are already a professional stone-setter, this book is a waste of your time; at least, this is my opinion. I should add that you’d have to be a SERIOUS pro not to get anything out of this book. For me though, it goes in great detail, which is what I need—detail.

Creative Stonesetting really dives deep into how to set marquee shaped stones, square stones and faceted gems, plus many more. While I haven’t exactly tried all of these methods, knowing that I have an extensive resource like this makes me more confident that I can actually set a triangle bezel without it looking sloppy.

While I mentioned that pro stonesetters will probably not need this book, there is a lot of very advanced techniques such as channel setting. If you’re up for the challenge, then again, this is a great resource. I think it’s still a good idea to get a private lesson or take a class on proper stone setting, but this is great supplemental material for any metalsmith.