A couple of thousand years ago, I used to know an executive chef of
a five star hotel. He was a master in his craft and amongst many
conversations we had, he mentioned something that he had to do when
he was an apprentice.
It was called the ‘mystery box’ Basically, the students were given
identical boxes with various food ingredients in it and given a set
time to produce a dish of their choice.
I have always wondered if one could apply this to goldsmithing.
Imagine four identical benches, identical tools, some common tools,
and a mix of metals, say,some bar, wire, tubing, two or three stones
and two hours to do the job. You can make anything you wish, but it
must be finished at the end of the allotted time. No finish, no win.
I suggested this to a goldsmithing friend of mine and he became
quite upset and he said that you can’t make any 'important’
jewellery in two hours.
I agree, you can’t make a Faberge Egg or some of the jewellery the
IT’s (immense talents) that are the sages on this forum make in any
short time. But you can make some seriously cool jewellery in (say)
I know of some hot, hot jewellers on this forum,like the jeweller
who can make a seven stone diamond and emerald eternity ring, pave
set, in an hour and a half, from melt to ultrasonic cleaning. Tough
to beat in speed, but no great design—
The mystery box would level the playing field, I imagine, by giving
an advantage to design, resourcefulness, technique over straight
skill, maybe. I don’t know.
I mean, it would be difficult to make an eternity ring if only one
stone was in the box.
So any jeweler’s main skill would be ‘flattened’ and their comfort
zone would be altered.
Anyone know of this kind of competition in the jewellery field? Would
be great to see the results, and compete, for that matter.
Cheers, Hans Meevis