When I replied to Mr Lewton-Brain regarding accidents I was
reminded of a couple of “unique” occurences.
Around Christmas, a couple of years ago, a friend of mine who
is also a goldsmith stopped by my shop to see if we had a small
ruby he needed for a job he was working on. We did and we gave it
to him. The next day he called me to see if I had another one.
When I asked if he had lost it he said, “Actually, I had pulled
out the ruby and had it in my hand when I realized that I had
forgotten to take my vitamins. I went over and took them and
washed them down with a coke. When I returned to my bench I
couldn’t find the ruby, it was then I realized that I had
swallowed it”! I told him if he waited a couple of days he could
probably recover it, but he prefered a new stone.
This same guy had a customers emerald and diamond ring for
months, he just couldn’t get to it for whatever reason. The
customer had threatened to take actions that my friend would find
very unpleasant if the ring was not delivered, and fast. So my
freind worked late into the night to finish this job. He was
working on a couple of other jobs at the same time as well as
casting a peice using another customers gold. He took a break to
cast, when he returned to his bench he could not find the emerald
and diamond ring that belonged to the threatening customer. He
looked everywhere, after awhile he went back to quench the flask,
he then noticed something sparkling in the crucible. There were
diamonds and emeralds in the crucible, he had melted the ring
accidentaly! I asked him how he explained this incredibly stupid
mistake to his customer. He said that he put him off a couple
days and made a new ring. When he pesented it the customer said,
man this looks like a brand new ring! My friend agreed.
My explaination for this very talented fellows mishaps is that
he never sleeps properly. He will work for 48 hours straight and
then sleep 4 or 5 hours. And when he does sleep he often just
pulls the air mattress that he has velcroed to his ceiling down
and crashes on the floor of his shop. My personal rule is not to
work past midnight, no matter how busy I get. I think your
quality of work suffers that night and the next day if you don’t
go home and sleep. Thats another reason I don’t have a bench in
my home, I am afraid I would never stop working.