Hi, I'm Stephen Webb.

I'm a husband, dad of three, karate teacher, and a diamond setter. I love to solve problems and share my solutions with other people.

I founded Standout Stonesetting Academy in 2020 to help manufacturing jewellers to elevate their jewellery with better setting work.

What led me here

 I began making jewellery as a hobby at the age of 15, while listening to Foo Fighters and Radiohead, then started a diamond setting apprenticeship a few years later in 1999. I've now been setting stones full-time for over 23 years, and have always tried to do each job better than the last.

In the last two decades I've seen more setters retiring from the industry and fewer new setters being trained. In the next five to ten years, the number of available contract setters is likely to reduce, and that's a problem for jewellers who rely on somebody else to set their work for them. In fact, many jewellers I know see it as the biggest threat to their future business.

I believe that jewellers need a way to remove this bottleneck themselves, so they can earn a good living doing meaningful work they can show off and be proud of.

In January 2020 I set up some student benches and started teaching others how to set. The response was strong, but the COVID pandemic meant that most interstate students weren't able to travel to Adelaide for classes, so I decided to rethink the learning model from the ground up: Which areas of stonesetting could be taught online, and what advantages could that have?

After 12 months of extensive trials I launched the first online course and could immediately see the potential. This led me to develop courses that mixed the best of in-person and online formats, giving more flexibility to students who are driven to learn more over time.

Better setting is an important piece of making amazing jewellery, and if we can share those skills more widely, our work will be seen in higher regard and all of us will be better off!

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