I was fourteen when I started going to my uncle’s workshop. He was a setter, like most of the guys in my family. I used to come and see him on Wednesday afternoons. He would tell me to sit next to him and I would watch him. After a few weeks, he gave me some small stones to crimp to see how I did. When I was sixteen, I became his apprentice. That’s how I started. And then I went to school, you know. So, in the end, it was good timing. Right now, I’m working on a ring with an emerald setting. It’s a bead setting. But first I work with diamonds. Emeralds are too fragile, I would risk damaging them. And then I learned like this. I prepare my setting, I release the beads as if I were setting diamonds. Then I would loosen all the stones and set the emeralds. And I might bead the beads and do the finishing touches. It takes much longer, but you’ll see, it will be beautiful in the end.
C., setter for 25 years
"I often think that sometimes I wish things didn't work. Because in this business, the production of parts is almost always in a hurry. You know that yourself! And therefore, urgency means that there is little time to finalise the parts and get them out. Hence my initial thought,...