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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The ring that never was .....

One of the many things that I wanted to learn was stone setting and one of the more common setting that most beginners would learn is what is called the rub over setting.

This is an example of a rub over setting. The most common one you'll see at any Craft Shows or Fair. I'm guessing why it is so common is probably due to the fact of how cabochon is more accessible compared to cut stone. More accessible in the sense that not only is it more affordable but also easier to get? Well, that's just what I think anyway.

Picture courtesy of http://ringoblog.com

What you need for a rubover setting is a bezel strip; cut out in the precise length to wrap around the cabochon and a back plate as the basa of the setting and finally a cabochon, of course! The cabochone here is a round hematite cabochon.

And the you just solder everything together and then onto the ring.

Of course, don't take my words literally when I said solder everything together, like how you would bake a cake where you throw everything into the mixing bowl. That's not what I meant!

It involves one step after another which I unfortunately did not get to learn! Very obvious, isn't it? Otherwise I would have a nice hematite stone silver ring instead!

Ok, so here's one of the few dissapointments I had with this course. Yes, it's dissapointment with an 's' at the back which means there's more than one dissapointment. As though one is not bad enough, when I go on and think about it.... there's a few more. Okay, 3 to be precise.

The first one is the failure to complete the setting.

Now, exactly what went wrong?

I'm really not dissing anyone here but only evaluating the situation.

Nothing did. The reason why I didn't get to finish the setting was due to time constraint. Workshop was an 8 hours class with 1 hour lunch break, which means in essence it was only a 7 hours class. On the first day, we started at 10.00 am and ends at 6.00 p.m.

So, on the second day, which is also the last day, we opt to start class a little early considering it's some more than 2 hours drive back to Nottingham. We were thinking we could perhaps then finish early and then get back home early as well. So, we started at 8.00 a.m. which would mean that class should finish at 4.00 pm.

Here's the thing, I had in mind to make two pieces of ring. One with stone setting and the other one by making use of the 'spoilt' pieces in the metal clay class. And the Shaunee wanted this pendant necklace thingy, which ended up with me being the one making it for her since she's too young to handle the tools. That took up a lot of time already. The whole morning on the second day to be exact, when the second day I was having it in my mind allocated for me to do the setting and the second ring. I thought I would be able to complete it since the first ring was already soldered on the first day waiting to be set with the hematite and the design for the second ring was a simple one. What I did not take into account was that I need to make Shaunee's necklace as well and her necklace, although not very complicated in design, was very time consuming. I'll show it to you in the next post.

She did mention that we could still use the workroom after classes end but I never thought I would need to since I can be possibly doing the setting and second ring myself so I just shrugs it off. Had I known that I had to make Shaunee's necklace as well, which include a lot of sawing, I would have make use of the evening to get it done.

I'm not blaming Shaunee because it's not like making that necklace was a waste of my time. I learn some other stuffs from that necklace too. I merely regret the lack of communication which brought about the time mismanagement.

Now, more on the last day. You already know that Shaunee's necklace took up most of my time already and left me with not much time for my own. The biggest dissapointment is actually the fact that Yvonne refused to overrun the class. Well, we didn't request for it verbally but by implication I think we sort of get it. In a way, it was like, 'Ok, times's up. Bye bye.' She did not say that literally but that was how we felt.

Once the clock struck 4.00 in the afternoon, everyone stopped, Yvonne calculated the extra charges with Sa Kor and then we were sent to our room to pack up our things and we were already out of the front door the very next minute.

I'm giving her the benefit of doubt that she probably is thinking on our behalf that we need to travel far and therefore do not want to keep us back too long. But the other side of the coin is that, isn't the fact that we traveled so far to learn from you that you should at least make sure that we learn all that we have set out to learn before sending us off?

I mean, the previous two courses I attended; the glass bead making and metal clay classes, both overrun. With the glass bead making class, Diana told me that she already expected the class to overrun which is the norm already and Terry let me finish off with everything before I left.

Another difference between these two classes and Yvonne's is that the former was a bigger group of 6 to 7 students whereas the latter was a more personalized one to one method; two students to be precise since Shaunee can't be counted cuz she was only tagging along.

But then, I thought you get more personalized attention in one to one classes than group? To the contrary, I felt I get more personalised attention in the other two. Ok, so Diana had Sally helping her in a 7 students class and Terry had Kivi to help her in a 6 students class. But that still averages to 1 teacher to 3 students ratio. Isn't that similar to Yvonne's?

Maybe she's being professional by being punctual? But punctuality aside, doesn't ptofessionalism also calls for the completion of the syllabus, even more so when the students had already paid for it?

Stone setting was the first dissapointment because I've already informed her on my arrival that that was what I wanted to learn and I was told that we don't have time for that already. And because of 'We don't have time already', my second dissapointment was the part on polishing which was not explained at all.

The second ring was completed in time. What I'm left to do was only the setting of the hematite onto the first ring and polishing.

I mean, c'mmon.... how much more time would it take? The whole night?

I think she was even thinking of keeping back the hematite cabochon with the bezel strip and back plate. But I told her I think I want to try it out myself at home which she then lets me take home.

I seriously do not know how I was going to do it at that time but I just don't think I'm going back home with the amount I've paid with only a thin silver ring lor.


I reckon I could still go around completing it with some research but if that's the case, what's the point of me attending the course in the first place? Get what I mean?

I definitely did not feel like I got the value for my money' worth. -_-

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