Channel Setting

Course Description

About this course

Gemstone settings are often named with a term that describes the way they actually hold the gems in place, and the term channel setting is no exception. Channel setting is a method whereby stones are suspended between two bars or strips of metal and flow side by side in a continuous row.

As with all jewelry, there can be many variations of channel work and the technique has become increasingly popular over the last decade. This style is often seen in wedding bands and is also used as an accent on either side of a larger stone, for example, to highlight a diamond in an engagement ring.

This course presents a great opportunity to advance stone setting skills with hands-on experience and knowledge from an expert in the jewelry industry, John Kennedy. Over the course of two days, students will be taken step by step through the process of channel setting through two ring projects. To save time, ring mountings will be prepared in advance so students can focus on stone sizing, layout, cutting seats, setting, and finishing methods.

Expect to leave with a finished channel set ring in sterling silver. Students can move on to work on a second ring as time allows and continue to refine skills (see note under materials and tools). The goal of this workshop is to lay a solid foundation for students to continue exploring this setting style after the workshop.

Meet the Instructor

John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a jewelry designer who has always challenged the status quo. Since starting in the trade in the 1960's, John's work has been shaped by his quest to redefine the approach to modern jewelry design. His ability to create simple yet sophisticated pieces that capture the essence of his passion has earned him a reputation as one of the most influential jewelry designers.

John's emergence on the global jewelry design stage began in 1987 with the Intergold Competition. It was there where his talent for jewelry design was first recognized, earning him a place on Intergold's prestigious world tour. His participation on the tour introduced John’s talents and innovative designs to collectors, critics, and enthusiasts who continue to celebrate his approach to modern jewelry.

In 1993 John was awarded two US Patents for the innovative concepts he developed for Cylettes®. They represent two of the only five jewelry patents in application issued during the entire 20th century. The patents are the foundation and core of Cylettes®, a breakthrough innovation into the use of light through cylindrical gemstones. John discovered that the cylindrical cut allowed for the transmission of natural light unlike faceted stone cuts which only allow for reflection. With the groundbreaking design of Cylettes®, the interplay between light and stone no longer had to be purely reflective; it could be transformative.

By 1996, Cylettes® had become recognized by the industry as the only unique and innovative new offering in decades. John's subsequent acceptance into the JCK and the Tucson Design Centers as well as the MJSA pavilion for American designers in Basil, Switzerland cemented his status as one of the foremost jewelry designers in the world.

Today, John continues to push the boundaries of modern jewelry design. He is highly sought after by collectors and individuals who want custom designed jewelry that is elegant and refined, yet distinct from what can be found elsewhere. Recognizing that the desire for unique jewelry creations doesn't reside just with the collectors and galleries he has designed for, John has launched J. Kennedy Design to make his work more accessible to those who appreciate art jewelry.

Materials & Tools 

There is a materials fee of $85 which includes one Argentium Silver ring blank as well as cz's and burs needed to complete a ring project(s). Additional ring blanks ($35) and stones ($15) are available by request.

NOTE: Students are required to have a series of burs for the class. Metalwerx provides those in the kit for convenience.  If a participant prefers to provide their own burs, please contact our office to get the itemized list and so that our staff can deduct the cost of burs from the total materials kit cost.

Students should bring 

Note: Metalwerx has tools available for students use but you may have to share. If you have the following, you are welcome to bring these basic hand tools to class:

  • Hand Files,  Flat and ½ round
  • Needle Files: round, barrette, 3 square, 3 square (broken edge)
  • Ring Clamp
  • Emery Sticks Grit 1 (320 grit) and 600
  • Bezel Pusher
  • Dividers
  • Millimeter Gauge
  • Leverage Gauge or digital calipers
  • Beeswax, Oil of Wintergreen (burr lubricant)
  • Saw frame
  • Optivisor



Materials Cost



John Kennedy


November 16 -17, 2019


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


2 days

Intermediate and above
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