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Creative Stonesetting Hardcover – July 1, 2008


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Creative Stonesetting + Gemstone Settings: The Jewelry Maker's Guide to Styles & Techniques + The Workbench Guide to Jewelry Techniques
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Cogswell has been making jewelry and teaching others how to do it for more than thirty years. He has trained with and worked alongside masters from the US and Europe, and developed a tremendous following through the scores of workshops he has taught. In this book, John shows the same wisdom and humor that have endeared him to so many.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Brynmorgen Press; First edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929565224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929565221
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Nelson on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have literally been waiting for this book to be published, both because I knew John was writing a book on stonesetting, and because I needed such a book for teaching stone setting in my classes. I have hundreds of pages of handouts gathered from various sources from the past 30 years, as well as some very sophisticated instructions geared toward commercial jewelers, but what I have missed is a comprehensive manual of basic stonesetting information that interested beginners can use. Many jewelry making manuals have one chapter on stonesetting, but my universal complaint with all of them is that they assume the reader has a body of information already - and that presumed body of information is different from manual to manual, so instructions are uneven at best. Also, when some instructions blithely say things like "score, bend and solder a box, then solder a prong in each corner", the inevitable questions like "What gauge sheet? What gauge wire? How do I hold everything in place to solder?" are not discussed, making such instructions useless for beginners. I teach bezel setting and some simple prong setting, but I am no stonesetting pro. I especially welcome the kinds of hints that professionals have and are frequently reluctant to share. John Cogswell, the workshop leader extraordinaire, has come through with the information I need. From concise definitions of tools, through measuring methods, to actual construction - it is all here.
I am not interested in possible projects - I can design my own pieces but when I have a triangular faceted amethyst to set on a piece, I am wanting solid information on tools, measurements, construction suggestions and actual setting hints. John's exquisite drawings are clear and easy to follow.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By S. Abramson on October 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Creative Stonesetting is a must-have in any jeweler's studio. It condenses tons of information about stonesetting, but also includes in-depth information about jewelers tools and how to properly use them. John Cogswell's illustrations are detailed yet straightforward, reminiscent of The Complete Metalsmith.

This book has alleviated many of my stonesetting anxieties. The instructions are not only thorough, but in many cases full of tricks that make the process easier. To accompany the explicit instructions are John's humorous anecdotes that differentiate this book from many technical books.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Roger Cole on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a great book! I'm not a jeweler or artist at all, and I ordinarily would not be very interested in a topic like this, but when my wife, who has taken the author's classes, showed me Creative Stonesetting the illustrations drew me in and I ended up looking at nearly all of them. This then led me to read enough of the text to see that Cogswell has the whole package here. It's easy to see, even for a non-jeweler, that the tips, tricks, and shortcuts he presents are extraordinarily clever and useful, and that he developed many of them himself. Brilliant. Even though I'll probably never set a stone, it's fun and thought-provoking to see how he tackles various technical challenges. Many of the concepts could easily translate to seemingly unrelated fields, ranging from home repair to consumer product design. I love the way that, just by looking at his drawings, a reader can instantly understand how to do a process. Usually, no additional words are required, and whenever they are, he includes them, without excess verbiage, in the caption. I do a lot of scientific writing for lay people, and I'm constantly trying to create illustrations (using a professional illustrator) that provide clear visual explanations of how to do things. I wish I could succeed even half as well as Cogswell does. Very inspiring. There's a Yale professor, Edward Tufte, who has written several books on how to visually present information. Cogswell's drawings could easily be examples in his books. What makes all this better is that Cogswell builds up systematically from the beginning, first explaining basic concepts and tools in a way that anyone could understand, then showing step by step how to use each tool to get more and more sophisticated effects. I also appreciate his spirit of openness and generosity in sharing his life's work. Yep, it's the whole package. Bravo!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K.P. on December 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been doing fabrication for many years. John is respected by jewelers in the trade for his vast knowledge. It's been a delight to read this book and I wish I'd had it for some of the bugger stones I've had through the years. There have been several tips in there that by themselves would be worth the price of the book. It's beautifully illustrated and has luscious photos of art jewelry.

I would say it's too advanced for the rank beginners that don't have soldering down pat, but great for anyone who has advanced beyond the basic cabochon setting. Even those who do have extensive stone setting experience will find a nice selection of settings they haven't tried. John also suggests alternatives within the settings themselves, so it's not "You have to do it my way and no other."

It's a lovely and informative book, whether you're at the beginner stage or a professional. You will find something you haven't known before, and how much would you have paid in a workshop to get that information? I hope he writes yet another book with more advanced settings. It's way above the caliber of most jewelry books that are on the current market.

Excellent job, John! And thank you.
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