Right from the start of his stone-setting career, Phill has set stones upside down whenever he felt the piece warranted the need of that drama. In the late eighties he coined the term 'Upsetting' for this practice.
'Gothic Tardis', 1988, showing an 'upset' amethyst. (This image published in CraftArts International, 1990)
At that stage, Phill had not seen this practice displayed elsewhere. It was considered so novel as to be offensive to some. One stone-cutter in Tasmania famously remarked that he wasn't going to sell any more stones to Phill because "he doesn't know how to set them..."
Of course, this technique had to be used judiciously, in order not to devalue its impact. It was largely confined to Objets d'Art and jewellery that addressed the concerns of Art. Nevertheless, the quote that Phill "preferred the form predominating over the sparkle" was published in a number of journals in the late 'eighties and early 'nineties, and came to be one of the signatures of his work at the time.
From the early 'nineties through the mid 'nineties, Phill moved on to having stones, which exaggerated the 'upset' effect, especially cut for him. These tended to be elongated developments of the rose cut.
'Ring for an Iminent Epiphany', 1996, showing a spinel especially cut for Phill.
From the very late 'nineties onwards, Phill has cut his own stones, and has gone on to design his own cuts tailored to the needs of his style.He very rarely now just sets stones upside down, seeing it as frequently too simplistic for the needs of his current work.
'Diurnal Temple' and 'Nocturnal Altar', a pair of rings exhibited at Idar-Oberstein, Germany, 1997.