I've been back at the bench for the past week. After the first awkward day things came back to me pretty quickly. Soldering seems to be coming back rather slowly though. I was gone over 5 years total but it has been even longer since I did many jewelry repairs with the torch since every place I have worked since 2004 has had a laser welder. There is a laser welder at my new job, but still the torch is better for some things.
The only stone setting I have done so far has been prong setting two round faceted stones and bezel setting a faceted stone.
The prong setting felt very awkward. Felt like I was doing it for the first time. I just couldn't remember how I used to bur a level seat for the stones. In the end they were set ok.
I didn't do the entire bezel setting. My boss started it and had the bezel partially hammered down before he had to do something else and I took over. I finished hammering it and cleaned it up. The bezel setting felt ok, aside from being a bit nervous cause the stone was a tanzanite.
I am going to try to make 2017 about learning and improving. Especially my bench jeweler skills. I am hoping to improve my stone setting beyond where I was before I went to Korea. I could do most settings well enough, but some I was not confident with, especially channel setting and pave. I had learned how to do both of them but I never had much practice.