Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Jeweler? Metalsmith? Goldsmith?

What it is about these metals that keep us hunched over our work benches for hours? While learning to be a jeweler is not an easy task and encompasses years of practice. Considering that the materials that are used are not exactly inexpensive...why is it that there are so many people who have worked diligently through the 10-20 years of practice that it takes to become masterful jewelers?

Speaking of the word jeweler, it is a matter of some controversy in the field. To the understanding of most people, jewelers are those that sell jewelry. Some that are makers of jewelry would call themselves jewelers, but depending on the particular preference of the maker, studio jeweler, metalsmith, goldsmith and silversmith might also be used. Then of course, there are the specialized titles of engraver, setter, caster.

I have been inspired by the very successful blog,, to talk about some of the nuances of the jewelry trade. As with the trade of tailoring, there is much that goes on in the studios and workshops of jewelers that is a mystery to those outside of that world. As a maker of jewelry that is produced by my own hands, I want to share the language of our materials, methods and our inspiration.

I have also been urged by blogging potter friend Mary Anne Davis to share some insights into my own life and work, so mabye I'll be able to loosen up and share some of that too!

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