The conclusion of any jewelry piece is putting on the final polish. As you have observed there are many details in building a piece. These details add a great deal to the overall beauty of the brooch. There are many times during the process I questioned my decisions on design and on techniques. But I stayed on course and created the piece as closely to possible to the original sketch. It is so rewarding to see all the work come together with the final polish.
However this final stage is the most risk and the most stressful. It is very difficult to relay the emotions one feels when sitting at a bench to set a stone. Every craftsperson, in any medium, has experienced this. You hold in your hand a piece you have invested so much time (and money) and one little slip… or perhaps one small inclusion in the gem and the stone breaks. It is heart wrenching! You feel terrible for days. You re-group and look at alternatives: Rebuild for a new stone? Re-cut the damaged gem?
When I first started I was visiting with this older diamond setter. He just broke a diamond. I proudly said, “What? I have never broken a diamond” (at the time I had probably only set 10 diamonds to his thousands).
He replied, “There are two types of diamond setters in this world… those that have broken a diamond and those that are GOING to break a diamond. YOU are in the latter group!” I learned to shut up and just watch!
With high risk comes high reward. I successfully set the main Ammolite, the accent fire opal, and the other accent stones. I held true to my original vision resulting in a truly unique and beautiful showpiece!