Tools of the Trade: How a Local Jeweler Crafts Its Most Iconic Baubles
Goldsmith and jeweler Michael Ellsworth relies on more than steady hands and sharp eyes to meticulously craft fine jewelry.
By John Roark | Photography by Rob Ballard
1 Steel setting burrs are used to precisely cut a “seat” within a setting, or the metal base or framework that holds a round faceted stone.
2 Once jeweler Oliver Smith has conceived a design, gemstones, such as these loose sapphires, are selected based on size and color.
3 Multiple individual heads are laser-welded together to create a setting, the metal framework that will hold the gems.
4 Tweezers can be much more effective than fingers for handling minute jewelry components.
5 Resin, similar to stationery sealing wax, is applied to a wooden dapping block, which will hold a piece in place to facilitate two-handed fine-tuning.
6 To facilitate accurate placement, digital calipers assist in measuring stones and metal elements.
7 Once a stone has been placed in its setting, a wooden-handled prong pusher bends the prongs to secure the stone in place.
Oliver Smith Jeweler, Scottsdale, oliversmithjeweler.com