Traditional and contemporary stone setting with Penny Davis

Ref: SLW10152


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About this course

Broaden your stone setting skills for bezel, crown, bead/grain and flush settings. Practise with inexpensive stones, learn to make basic tools and to use the pendant motor and burrs.

Course Description

Broaden your understanding and skills in stone setting through an exploration of the techniques used for bezel, crown, bead/grain and flush settings. Practise with inexpensive stones, learn to make basic tools and to use the pendant motor and burrs.

Gemstones have been used in jewellery for thousands of years in order to create a colourful contrast to the metal in which they are set. The aim of the course is to develop your existing jewellery skills and experience, so that you can add stones to your jewellery through a variety of techniques. Flush, grain set, rub-over and claw set mounts will be covered, and you will learn how to construct handmade mounts in copper and gilding metal, though silver can be used if desired.

As the various setting techniques take practice, you will start with cubic zirconia, but you are welcome to bring your own stones if you wish.

During this course, you will also cover making a few basic setting tools, including setting up gravers, setting tools, and burnishers. Use of the pendant motor and burrs will also be covered.

To get the most out of the course, it is important that you have a good knowledge of jewellery making skills as you will be making the mounts for the stones. Alternatively, you can bring prefabricated settings with you. It is also important to ensure that you have adequate magnification because we will be working with fine detail.

By the end of the course, you should have gained an understanding of the different possibilities and applications of stone settings covered, and how to apply them to your own practice.

Further information on types of settings you will learn:

Rubover / bezel settings are ideal for almost any stone, faceted or cabochon, and can be adapted to almost any shape and size of stone. In their most basic form they are a simple band of metal that encircles the stone.

Claw settings, the classic prong setting, are more generally used with faceted stones to allow more light in behind the stone to maximize their colour and sparkle.

Grain settings are more suited to smaller stones which are set by creating a series of small grains around the stone using a graver.

Flush settings are also more suitable for small stones, and create a smooth, contemporary look where the stones are sunk into the surface of the metal, e.g. skills for bezel, crown, bead/grain and flush settings. Practise with inexpensive stones, learn to make basic tools and to use the pendant motor and burrs.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Basic stones and burrs to make samples.

What students need to bring

  • You may like to make pieces of jewellery ready for settings to be added to.
  • If you wish to make your own tools for use during / after the course, please bring the following:
  • Universal handle x 1 – Round ended wooden handle with a chuck used to hold a multitude of tools.
  • Mushroom handles x 4 – Short or ball
  • Flat scorper (graver) x 1 – Size 8 or 10
  • Spitzstick x 1 – Size 0 or 2
  • Round edge scorper x 1 – Size 6 or 8
  • Bullstick scorper x 1– size 21
  • Any gemstones you wish to practise with, or discuss
  • Setting tool/Pusher
  • Universal handle
  • An apron
  • Something to tie your hair back with, if it is long
  • Shoes that cover your feet (no sandals or flip flops or high heels)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Silver in a variety of forms: sheet, wire and tubing
  • A range of tools (a basic kit will also be available to borrow)
  • Saw blades, drills
  • Silver solder
  • Mushroom handles
  • Ring clamps
  • The following are sometimes available, check availability before you come: Flat scorper – size 6, 8 or 10 Spitzstick/scorper – size 0 to 2 Round edge scorper – size 6, 8 or 10
  • Available from tutor:
  • A range of cubic zirconias and a small selection of semi-precious stones
  • Burrs for the pendant motor
  • A small number of scorpers and setting tools
  • Small amounts of silver tubing
  • The cost of these materials will be between £5–£10 per person. You should pay the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.


Penny Davis

Penny initially trained in Sheffield in Jewellery and Silversmithing, then studied enamelling at the Sir John Cass in London. She has been teaching for 20 years at universities, colleges and schools. Her work can be found at Studio Fusion Gallery, London, of which she is also a director.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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