There isn't really a lot that can't be done any other way, but loads of things that can be done quicker without lots of tools and dare I say it waste. One such is being able to fire stones directly in place. Kevin Whitmore from Rio Grande has completed a labour of love by testing which stones can and cannot be fired successfully into metal clay.
For a really fab range of Cubic Zirconias of every size, colour and shape try www.diamondcz.co.uk
I teach one to one and small group classes from my studio in North West London Contact via http://www.debbiecarltonjewellery.co.uk/ if you are interested in learning how to set fireable and non fireable stones into metal clay.