The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Setting Odd-Shaped Stones with Rio’s Freeform Stone Mountings

Sep 27, 2012
7 Comments
Bernadette Bennett

Basic Stone Setting is the first jewelry class I took when I started working here at Rio. For me, it involved a noticeable balance of meticulousness and therapeutic focus. I remember working with calibrated round and oval stones—and even then, I still needed to use my burs quite a bit. I wondered how difficult it would be to prong-set an uncalibrated or odd-shaped stone. My guess was that these stones would most likely end up wire-wrapped or custom-bezel set.

Freeform sterling four-prong ring mounting

When I learned that we were manufacturing ring and component mountings for odd-shaped stones, I was intrigued. I recently talked with Yvonne Padilla, who had jumped at the opportunity to test them out. I asked her how these mountings were different from typical prong mountings.

“Easy, easy, easy!” she said. “The prongs are long enough to set stones of varying thicknesses. I recommend that you measure and cut each prong according to your stone, instead of just folding the prong over as-is. If the prong is too long, it may detract from the stone. However, you should experiment with the prong length, some stones look cool with the longer prongs lying across them. Also remember that it’s okay to take a bur to the prong and reshape it, if needed.”

When I asked her if she encountered any unexpected workarounds, her simple reply was, “Nope.”

She even told me that she has some extra mountings and some stones for me to experiment with, if I’d like.

 

I have to admit, that when I first saw these mountings, I thought, “That’s it?” To me they look like regular mountings with exceptionally long prongs. After learning more about them, what I appreciate the most is the simplicity of the design. It turns out that simplicity is what makes them so accommodating. That’s why, when it comes to setting unique stones, the simpler the setting, the more easily it can be molded and changed in accordance with the stone’s unique proportions and physicality. I definitely plan to take Yvonne up on her offer to let me play with these new mountings.

An ammonite fossil set by Yvonne in the freeform
sterling ring mounting.

Make sure to also check out the new freeform component mountings on the web. If you have used this setting and have any comments or tips, we would love to hear them or you could also review them online.

Comment on this article

What Are You Working on Now? Show Us What’s on Your Bench AND Enter Our October Contest!

Sep 26, 2012
10 Comments
Molly Therese Bell

What inspires you these days? What materials are you dying to work with? Each month we present you with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest, in which we invite readers to submit a picture or two and a description of what’s on their bench right now. Well, this month’s winner, Erin Brown, has won a $10 Rio credit, and October’s contest has officially begun – show us your stuff for a chance to win!

...Read the Rest

Etsy Stores We Love: The Dancing Gecko

Sep 24, 2012
2 Comments
Bernadette Bennett

We love to see what our customers are making and selling on Etsy and we love learning which products help them do it. Today, on The Studio, we’re featuring Sherry Jones’ Etsy store, The Dancing Gecko. Come check it out!

...Read the Rest

To Your Health: Rio’s Health and Wellness Fair

Sep 20, 2012
No Comments
Andy Sherwin
Posted by

Here at Rio, we’re pretty big on healthy living. We’ve got a gym on site, we have an in-depth wellness program to help keep us in good shape, and we even host events like our annual 5k run. This year marked the eleventh annual Health and Wellness Fair, and we were happy to welcome representatives from all sorts of health-oriented organizations to our front courtyard to help us out!

...Read the Rest

Video Project with Mark Nelson: Foldforming a Metal Bead

Sep 19, 2012
4 Comments
Andy Sherwin
Posted by

Foldforming is an awesome way to manipulate metal to create cool, organic shapes. Developed by Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980s, foldforming works with any kind of metal, and is a great technique to experiment with when you’re looking for that unique new idea. In today’s post, Mark Nelson will inspire you to try foldforming by making a bead using the technique.

...Read the Rest

If You Like It, Put a Pin in It: Rio’s Pinterest Boards!

Sep 18, 2012
4 Comments
Andy Sherwin
Posted by

We love social media! Whether it’s pictures of our classes on Facebook or chatting with artists and jewelers on Twitter, there are so many great ways to keep in touch with all of you. Lately, we’ve been playing in Pinterest an awful lot. It’s a fun spot to discover and share cool pictures, ideas, pieces, and more. As our presence on Pinterest ramps up, I thought it’d be fun to spotlight a few of our favorite boards and what we’ve been doing on them.

...Read the Rest

In the Spotlight: The We ART the People Folk Art Festival and Lauren Tobey!

Sep 13, 2012
No Comments
Lauren Tobey
Posted by

Earlier this year, The Studio featured Lauren Tobey’s beautiful work and her jewelry school/studio, Meltdown Studio. In today’s post, Lauren is a guest contributor and tells us about her recent experience at the “We ART the People” folk art festival here in Albuquerque. Check it out!

...Read the Rest

Making Custom Stamps and Stencils with the Imagepac Stampmaker

Sep 12, 2012
2 Comments
Teresa Linebaugh
Posted by

Have you ever wanted to make your own metal clay stamps and stencils at home and quickly? The ImagePAC Stampmaker is the answer! It’s super easy to use, takes no time at all to learn, and you get to make your own one-of-a-kind stamps and stencils!

...Read the Rest

Rio Grande at the Santa Fe Indian Market

Sep 10, 2012
1 Comment
Heather Apodaca
Posted by

This year’s Santa Fe Indian Market was another smashing success. For those of you who don’t live in the great state of New Mexico, Indian Market is a 90-year-old tradition celebrating Native American arts and culture. This year, two of Rio Grande’s own were asked to be judges in the jewelry division. Eddie Bell, one of Rio’s directors, was a judge in the Contemporary Jewelry category, and Sessin Durgham, tech expert and craftsman extraordinaire, was a judge in the Pre-Columbian/Beading category.

...Read the Rest

Show Your True Colors: The Stunning Palette of Kliar E-Coating

Sep 7, 2012
9 Comments

Want to add a fun and playful twist of color to your pieces? With the MIDAS System for Kliar E-Coating, you can achieve eye-popping color and make a statement with your jewelry. Sixteen colors are available, and they can be mixed to create your very own color palette.

...Read the Rest