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Craftsmen behind the brands


#1

Was: Is Jewelry Making an Art?

Dear James

We all know the art of Rene' Lalique or Tiffany,
but who knows the names of their craftsmen. The craftsmen who
actually created the art. I have a book called "the Art of Faberge'"
but we all know that Faberge' never made a single piece shown in the
this book, perhaps there should be seperate books printed, may I
suggest " the art of Michael Evamplovitch Perchin" who to my mind was
one of Faberge's greatest craftsman. 

I think that this is a brilliant idea. Perhaps a book introducing
us to the real craftsmen behind the famous brands. I would not know
where to begin searching for this but you, being an
insider in the industry, could find it out. These talented people
deserve recognition, and a peek into the workings of industry and the
incredible work produced can only increase interest in the work
itself. Perhaps you will not have time to write such a book before
you retire from active goldsmithing, but I do hope you will consider
it seriously.

Wishing all Orchidians a prosperous 2007,

Laurel Cavanaugh


#2
the art of Michael Evamplovitch Perchin 

It seems to me that I have seen such a book - it’s a hazy
recollection that could be wrong. I do know that many Faberge books
are very pointed about giving him his rightful due - as the Faberge’s
shops most eloquent workmaster. He was the man behind the scenes,
true, but has gotten much well-deserved attention.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#3

I do agree with this thought,why is the actual craftsman not
recognised. I have always noticed that during design competitions
the designer gets all the recognisation and not the crafts men who
would have spent hours on hours to create the DREAM of the designer
and using all the techniques to create a piece for someone else to
get credit for. It not only applies to jewellery, every item of a
designer tag has that sad story. I recommend a competition to
recognise an artisan for his creativity.

An Orchidian


#4

I have many books on Art Nouveau French Jewellery and there are
intermittent references to specialists who worked for Lalique, but
they also worked for themselves at times. Ther are a couple of books
by Alistair Duncan caleed the Paris Salons that list a whole raft of
makers whose work is now mostly lost or forgotten, they all had to
train somewhere. In the 1980s-1990s in Scotland there were a lot of
jeweller designer makers who were (and still are in some cases)
commercially successful. My definition of this is that they appeared
regularly at the big trade shows. I have always assumed that they
either had a tutor at college who knew their stuff or they worked for
someone who was successful and then branched out on their own. They
mostly did cast and enamelled silver. The big companies in England
biult up teams of specialists, when they no longer had the work in
the 1970s an enameller or a chaser say didn’t have the work coming
through to keep them going, you get this in sculptural foundries, you
need a team because there are just too many processes for one person
to master really well. I bet we all think that we knew better
jewellers than we are who are no longer around.

regards Tim Blades.
(by the way has anyone ever heard of Nick Humez, his book Silversmithing
was my inspiration when I started in the 70s)


#5

“An Orchidian” as a craftsman who makes jewellery for designers, I
don’t often feel I need recognition except from my peers. I lost the
attachmen t for the pieces I finished as an apprentice and that
inclination was los t after 6 months. I do hang onto pieces I have
made and keep them on sho w and I have many pieces on the go at any
time. If the response was as y ou might imigine it; the craftsman
getting the credit for the work, is im possible to carry forward,
because the piece becomes branded and it is th at brand they are
buying not the craftsman. It would be good to see more become the
brand but that brand is only ever going to account for a smal l
word-of-mouth circle because any craftsman making jewellery can only
de sign and finsh, carry the sale etc with limited time and the only
way a c raftsman can be widely known is if is part of a team or
simply highly rep uted for having impressive skills. The later part
being no more remarkab le then other skills. To be the jeweller with
the neccessary skills to b e known for your skill you must be a
proffessional and the skill you have is one you have refined over
many years. I have never known a quality j eweller who made
jewellery as a secondary job, so I can’t see how the con cept of the
craftsman behind the brand will work for all but the few who
individually make a high number of pieces.

Phillip


#6
I lost the attachment for the pieces I finished as an apprentice
and that 

This thought is a bit of a turn on the topic. We have a block full of
stamps - another shop had 5 times as many. Meaning that when you look
at some jewelry, the stamp for “Grand Jewelers” was put there by me.
Just like TV’s and computers, much jewelry is made in central
factories, and branded and maybe given a different color of paint.
Some people have made as many as 500 pieces of jewelry, and no doubt
they are rightfully proud of their work. I’m typical of my field -
I’ve made more like 20,000 pieces of jewelry, either completely or
assembly work (you think I’m kidding…). After awhile the novelty
wears off, and it’s just a living - still great fun and all, but I/we
just don’t need that ego thing any more. In other words, I get plenty
of strokes on work - if some piece I made is branded to someone else,
I can spare that - there’s plenty to go around.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#7
After awhile the novelty wears off 

It does, and it takes about as long as the first decent piece you
made which hurt to let go. Then you realise that you are getting paid
anyway.

I have my own brand and I have completely different practices for my
own work then trade work. I already do a lot more then I get paid for
to keep a standard and the salespeople handling my trade work can’t
sell quality, or don’t realise the impact it makes. I get angry if
they give their customers my details because it implies this is my
standard, but it is not my standard. So I tell them :slight_smile:

Phillip


#8
I have always noticed that during design competitions the designer
gets all the recognition and not the crafts men who would have
spent hours on hours to create the DREAM of the designer 

I am sorry, but I find this offensive.
For every piece of mine that has won an award, I was the designer
and I was the craftsman.

If the piece was cast, I carved the waxes, I made the molds, I cast
the metal, I cleaned the casting. No one else. If the piece was
fabricated, in gold, silver, titanium, steel, or platinum, I did the
metalwork to make the piece.

No other technician can capture your vision or your dream.
No other technician is as invested in the piece as you are.
No other goldsmith is going to put their whole heart into it.
And it takes all your faith, sweat, and tears to produce
an award winning piece.

And every designer I know, who is worth their metal and has won
prestigious awards has done the same.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#9
If the piece was cast, I carved the waxes, I made the molds, I cast
the metal, I cleaned the casting. No one else. If the piece was
fabricated, in gold, silver, titanium, steel, or platinum, I did
the metalwork to make the piece. 

That is all to your credit. You’d be surprised if I told you how
many Orchidians send their casting and sometimes finishing, too, to
us. Hi Guys!!

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#10
You'd be surprised if I told you how many Orchidians send their
casting and sometimes finishing, too, to us. Hi Guys!! 

I don’t know whether this was meant to imply anything negative about
these “guys”-- perhaps not-- but I am not ashamed (or afraid) to say
I send out all my casting. Mostly, my work is fabricated. When I
have pieces to cast, I send them to someone who does it all day,
every day. Casting may be an art as well as a science, but it isn’t
part of the creative process, in itself. It is simply not economic
to do it myself, and the quality is better than I could hope to
acheive, since I don’t do it all the time.

It is true that somewhere there must be a line between going and
digging your own ore, refining it, rolling stock, mining and cutting
stones… and the kind of designing that Frank Gehry so famously
did, where he “plopped” some diamonds on a (paper?) model or drawing
and someone else took it from there. It is a complete spectrum, and
each person must decide where they wish to land. Sending out my
casting isn’t like I didn’t raise my own kids!

Noel


#11

Noel,

I don't know whether this was meant to imply anything negative
about these "guys"-- perhaps not-- but I am not ashamed (or afraid)
to say I send out all my casting. 

He was replying to Nanz Aalund, who specifically said:

If the piece was cast, I carved the waxes, I made the molds, I
cast the metal, I cleaned the casting. No one else. If the piece
was fabricated, in gold, silver, titanium, steel, or platinum, I
did the metalwork to make the piece. 

I think he was simply pointing out the fact that not everyone does
things the way she does. “Not that there’s anything wrong with
that!!”–Jerry Seinfeld

Sending out my casting isn't like I didn't raise my own kids! 

How perfectly ironic you’d make that statement in a “let’s not hurt
any feelings” sorta post. I actually AM a mother living every day
with the fact that I’m not raising my own kids, so that comment was
a bit of salt in my wound.

But I’ll get over the sting of your comment very fast. I know for
certain that you didn’t mean it personally, so I won’t take it as
such–which was my whole point in the John-Nanz exchange.

Ann-Marie


#12

I don’t think anything negative is implied.

Most of my work is cast. I do my waxes and have them cast. It’s a
fairly mechanical process, but there’s also much skill involved.
There are those who cast and do it poorly and there are those like
Donivan & Maggiora who are at the top of their game. Most of my work
includes stones which I cut. It’s what makes my work my own, but I’ve
never heard criticism of those who use stones that they have not cut
themselves.