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[Digest Post] Definition of jeweler?


#1

G’day. This is MY personal definition of a jeweller:–

1.A jeweller is a person who makes and/or sells jewellery.

2.Jewellery is personal ornamentation intended to be worn,
consisting of metals and gem stones

  1. A Goldsmith and a silversmith are persons who work with and shape
    a variety of items from gold and silver metals

  2. An artist is a person who perceives the universe, and has
    special ideas about what is perceived. They must also have the
    ability to communicate that idea to other people. I maintain that
    communication is an essential part of being an artist.

  3. A craftsperson is a person who has the ability to change the
    shape and form of some material into a different shape and form
    which may appeal to other persons.

You will notice that I have made my definitions wide open to cover
as many options as come to mind… (except 2!) You may also notice
that in 4 and 5 I include people who work with sound, writing or
mathematics.

– Cheers for now,John Burgess; johnb@ts.co.nz of Mapua, Nelson NZ


#2

My original mentor always told me an artist is someone who creates
one thing. A craftsman is someone who can make a pair. He was
fortunate enough to be both.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com


#3
      My original mentor always told me an artist is someone who
creates one thing.  A craftsman is someone who can make a pair. 
He was fortunate enough to be both. 

Maybe. But some call themselves both artists AND craftsmen. Such a
person would know that whether or not a pair of anything, such as
earrings, needs to match, is an aesthetic choice, one often made more
for convention’s sake, rather than because it needs to be so, and
would be just as happy producing a pair of items that complemented
each other, without needing to exactly match, if that were the best
choice, aesthetically, for the design, while also having the
technical skill to do it either way if desired…

Peter


#4

JEWELER: someone that sells finished jewelry to the public.

ARTISIN: someone that can make one of something.

CRAFTSMAN: someone that can make two identical or the reverse of
something.

GOLDSMITH: someone that makes or works in gold and silver, jewelry
scale (size)

SILVERSMITH: someone that makes or works in larger items like
hollowware.

METALSMITH: someone that makes or works in various metals or size

LAPIDARIST: someone that cuts stones

GEMOLOGIST: someone that can ID gemstones

Quality has nothing to do with what one calls themself or what
titles one places on their sign. There is no cut and dry point where
or when someone earns this title. I know many people that call
themselves (various titles ) and all thay have done is read a book or
tried to make or repair something and BAN thay now feel that thay can
wear that title. What a joke. Isn’t this a great world we live in,
THEN BYGOSH YOU ARE ONE.


#5

I’d like to throw in my $0.02 on this topic. The definition of the
word “artist” has always intrigued and troubled me. There are
painters, sculptors, goldsmiths, lapidarys (both the place where
stone cutting is done and the person who does it) silversmiths,
artisans, craftspersons (PC), etc. With the degradation (perhaps too
strong a word ) and liberal misuse or abuse of the English language,
everything has become an art. I’ve heard a number of people define
themselves as artist. And I don’t know what that means. If one
paints, one is a painter. If one sculpts, one is a sculptor, not
necessarily an artist. IMHO, “artist” is an honorific. It’s a term
that is bestowed upon someone by another. We don’t claim it for
ourselves. I don’t mean to offend anyone; but what we do is not art.
We are artisans, designers, craftpersons, goldsmiths, silversmiths,
lapidaries, metalworkers, but what we produce may be very fine but it
is not art. Someone else may designate what we do as art, but that’s
merely flattery. It takes some distance (as in time) to determine
what is “art”.


#6
 We are artisans, designers, craftpersons, goldsmiths,
silversmiths, lapidaries, metalworkers, but what we produce may be
very fine but it is not art.  Someone else may designate what we do
as art, but that's merely flattery." (kpkelly) 

With all respect, I flatly disagree. What you say is illogical too.
First you say that you don’t know what art is, and then you go on
saying that jewelry is not art. And you attack “the liberal misuse or
abuse of the English language”, but you start by saying that you are
only giving your $ 0.02 … If you agree that the composing of music,
the writing poetry and novels, the painting of paintings and so on
can be art (which is obviously so), why would the making of jewelry
not classify as art? I find this very strange. In my opinion, some
jewelry is obviously art in the same way as some music and so on -
general human expression - is art. I do not see any reason why this
would not be so, especially since some people find aesthetic pleasure
in looking at and in wearing jewelry, admiring its inherent beauty
and ingeniosity, and it also true that some pieces withstand time
and continue to marvel and to illuminate. Not too long ago, I saw
pictures of bracelets and chains that have been made in Mesopatamia
(up to 250O years before Christ) and I also visited the exposition on
Ireland’s gold in Dublin (old Celtic and Viking art): if this is not
art because it is jewelry, then you are far off the mark (and
misunderstanding human history perhaps?). Best, Will


#7
 With the degradation (perhaps too strong a word ) and liberal
misuse or abuse of the English language, everything has become an
art. I've heard a number of people define themselves as artist. 
And I don't know what that means.  If one paints, one is a painter.
 If one sculpts, one is a sculptor, not necessarily an artist. 
IMHO, "artist" is an honorific.  It's a term that is bestowed upon
someone by another.  We don't claim it for ourselves. I don't mean
to offend anyone; but what we do is not art. We are artisans,
designers, craftpersons, goldsmiths, silversmiths, lapidaries,
metalworkers, but what we produce may be very fine but it is not
art.  Someone else may designate what we do as art, but that's
merely flattery.  It takes some distance (as in time) to determine
what is "art". " 

Hi “kp” (I don’t know what your name is), I couldn’t possibly agree
with you less! But then, that’s why we’re all so lucky to have an
open forum like this (thanks, Hanuman) for the exchange of ideas and
opinions. While I’ll agree with you that superlatives like
"groundbreaking", “unique”, “absolutely amazing” and “genius” are
certainly honorific, the notion of not identifying oneself as an
artist (or artiste) is as foreign to me as that of not considering
myself a man. To you, this may seem purely subjective – a case of
semantics, more than anything else – akin to deciding what color to
paint your workshop but, to me, it’s the very essence of what and
who I am. I don’t just “do”; I envision, design, plan and create.

While I suppose there could well be members of this list who simply
solder jump rings all day long, according to pre-set instructions,
or who only repair jewelry – and neither design a single piece of
it, themselves, nor ever need to put their creative juices into
overdrive to overcome challenging obstacles, I’m inclined to believe
that they are the minority, here. For the rest of us, IMHO, if you
create – that is, if the products you produce are even partially
the result of your own imaginings – then you are an artist. In my
case, what else would you call an individual who designs and carves
one-of-a-kind, curvilinear sculptures from gem rough, or who designs
and facets gemstone designs which no one else has yet produced? (The
answer seems rhetorical.)

All my best, Doug Douglas Turet, GJ Lapidary Artist, Designer &
Goldsmith Turet Design P.O. Box 162 Arlington, MA 02476 Tel. (617)
325-5328 eFax (928) 222-0815 anotherbrightidea@hotmail.comFrom: “Guy Payton” guyp@avalonimports.com

In simple terms “Art” has a definition and what one calls art is
opinion.

Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work
of nature.

The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, “forms”,
movements, or “other elements” in a manner that affects the sense of
beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or
plastic medium.

A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a
set of activities:

Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art
of the baker; the blacksmith’s art.

Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties:
=93Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice=94 (Joy=
ce
Carol Oates).

Hope this helps. Guy Payton

From: “Jim Reitze” jreitze@forrest-design.com

Another of those threads I just can’t stay out of anymore. I like
this definition a LOT more than the one it is objecting to. I have
nursed a small sore spot for years that there has been such a
division between ‘art’ and ‘craft’. Throughout this thread, I have
been thinking of what my definitions would be. Perhaps a craftsman
is one who has achieved a level of proficiency in creating pieces,
not necessarily of his own design. The workmanship is certainly
there. The craftsman can create something with excellent results in
the field of his choosing. Then, perhaps, one ‘crosses the line’ to
being an artist by being able to create something of his own design,
as opposed to simply making excellent copies of another’s design.
Another 2 cents worth. Jim from still rainy western NC.

From: Peter W.Rowe PWRowe1@attbi.com

If you agree that the composing of music, the writing poetry and
novels, the painting of paintings and so on can be art (which is
obviously so), why would the making of jewelry not classify as art? 

The key is that art is not defined by the medium. There is music
out there that doesn’t qualify as art, and there are paintings too,
that don’t either. (think of the mass produced factory painted,
almost “paint by numbers” decorator crap sold at those hotel lobby
type “starving artists” sales, and you’ll know what I mean. That’s
product, but it sure isn’t creative, nor does it deserve the title of
art. It’s the creativity and personal input an artist puts into a
work which elevates it from the ordinary to the unique; from craft
to art. This can be any medium. Paint, notes, gold or silver, or
bubble gum for all it matters. Art is in the minds of the creators
thereof, and in the minds of those who view or otherwise experience
the work. Jewelery can be art, but just the fact that someones
hands made a thing don’t automatically qualify it as such.

I like the mental test of asking whether a piece has anything to
teach or show to it’s viewers, that they don’t already know or expect
to be there. Those things that exist only to deliver what we
already expect, fulfilling preconcieved notions, are not as likely
to be creative works deserving of the notion of art. Sometimes
they’re just ordinary common commercial items, sometimes they might
even deserve to be called kitch (which is not always a totally
negative term, by the way). But art distiguishes itself by being the
product of an individual mind at work, showing something of it’s
genesis, the makers vision of why it should exist.

Peter

From: LSHancock@aol.com

        I've heard a number of people define themselves as artist.
And I don't know what that means.<<snip but what we do is not art.
We are artisans, designers, craftpersons, goldsmiths, silversmiths,
lapidaries, metalworkers, but what we produce may be very fine but
it is not art. Someone else may designate what we do as art, but
tha t's merely flattery. It takes some distance (as in time) to
determine what is "art". 

That latter statement is really tough for me to swallow. An artist
is a person with a unique vision who transforms raw materials in such
a way as to communicate that vision to others. There will always be
room for disagreement between individuals as to whether or not any
one person or product is or is not art, but I refuse to let anyone,
any organization or an y collective consciousness tell me what has
significance to me. Why do we have to wait on someone else to tell
us who is an artist? Am I no t sufficiently aware of my own
conscientiousness to understand what art is? I f you can tell the
difference between a dictionary and a work of fiction, you can
determine what is and is not art.

So if this is my definition of an artist, who is an artisan? An
artisan is one who translates an artist’s vision. Many artists do
not have the ability to do all the technical steps. Even the great
masters had apprentices to do grunt work. But the vision was from
the artist. Michelangelo did not pour his own bronzes, he did not
mix and pour the plaster to make the mold; he ha d artisans do that
for him.

Who is a craftsperson? This has changed over time. Originally, a
craftsperson was an artisan type who made functional, utilitarian
goods like chairs, smoking pipes, clothes, coffins or doors. (the
fact that traditionally a jeweler/goldsmith was considered a
craftsperson is rather interesting to me. What actually is the
function of jewelry other than the fact that it functions as
jewelry, as ornamentation? What kind of function is that? Ah,
that’s another thread) Craftspeople were separated from artist s by
the conventions of the times. Then came people like the Shakers.
Craftspeople who brought a vision of design to their products. These
people were recognized as artists. As time passed, we looked back
on the products of antiquity. Many of these items were unique
because they were made by techniques abandoned for more modern
manufacturing means. Soon it was realized that many contemporary
craftspeople had the exact same qualifications as “artists,” but
their medium was utilitarian. Today, craftspeople still make
utilitarian objects, though at the edges the boundar y between craft
and art can become blurred. I am a craftsperson. I am proud to be
one.

The definition of a goldsmith is fairly straight forward, as is
silversmith and the other “smiths” of the world.

To me the word jeweler has significance. The important aspect of
the word i s “jewel.” A jeweler can be one who makes jeweled objects,
sells jeweled objects or who has a great deal of specific information
about jeweled object s and their components. My definition of jeweler
is broad and I do not wish t o narrow it too much, but some
goldsmiths, though they are rare, are not jewelers because they do
not work with jewels (and some stone setters are not
jewelers because their knowledge is too concise and focused.

“Jeweler” has become a rather catchall phrase and because of that
recently those who traditionally would have been called jewelers
have redefined themselves as gemologists, which is not a bad thing
(but they are still jewelers). I do not mind sharing the title
jeweler with my retail brethren who have never made a single piece of
jewelry. We can both be jewelers just as a Chihuahua and a Great
Dane can both be canine.

One of the limitations of the English language is that it can lack
concise definitions. For example when it is freezing cold and frozen
precipitation is falling outdoors, we English speakers call it snow.
We have only one wor d for snow. The natives of Alaska, in their
native tongue have over a dozen different words for snow.

In closing I am a goldsmith because of the product I make and the
techniques I use, a jeweler because of the knowledge I have
accumulated and use, an artist because of vision I bring to my work
and even a scientist because muc h of what I do is technical,
repeatable, based on empirical formula and not subject to
interpretation and a craftsman due to the utilitarian nature of m y
work. Do I need a degree to be called a scientist? A century to
tell if my work has vision? No.

Larry


#8

I have been making jewelry for 25 years. I am not a trained jeweler,
or metalsmith. I am a carver, of waxes, wood jewelry, acrylic,
bone/ivory, white metal- by the way, i don’t use it much, but white
metal(tin) cuts like butter with carbide burs.What i have always
noticed about my work, is that it is astonishing. I am so fluent at
any creation that i make, that it amazes me. I mean i couldn’t throw
enough superlatives about the way they come out. This is not a
boast, I don’t know why, or where it comes from, except that i
figure the 25 years might have something to do with it. I see this in
other works also, especially children’s art, and nature. And the
works of many others, from chinese bronzes12th cent. bc, to
impressionism, expressionism, fauvism, mayan, nepalese, celtic,
nouveau, the list is very long. I know my close friends,
intuitive, artistic type people, from my youth, spurred me into a
love of art and my original russian carving mentor/teacher/fellow
worker had something to do with my mastery in carving, . But i think
that the biggest factor influencing the incredible things that result
when i create stuff is that i have worked hard, dreamed and
fantasized design and especially embellishment, 24/7, the last 25
years, with no break. That is a little embarrassing to admit, such
are the facts… I admire so many people on this forum for each doing
so many different things relating to fine or fashion jewelry,i
wish i knew a hair’s thickness of what most of you know, i want to
learn it all and apply it to my stuff. I too have had reservation
about terming myself an artist, or even being called one, but one
thing i am not shy about is calling my work, art dpFrom: “Tony Konrath” tonykw@earthlink.net

I consider it important that anyone, and I mean anyone, can consider
themselves an artist. It’s up to the rest of us to consider whether
WE consider them a GOOD artist! Tony Konrath Key West Florida 3304

From: “Island Gold Works” islandgoldworks@telsouth.net

Alan, I too never felt comfortable with calling myself an “artist”. I
grew up in a very creative household . And my mother was a
’professional artist’, adding to the families income by commissions
of portraits in oil, acrylic and pastel. My father was more of a
"craftsman"( a more masculine term), until years later, then he too
was termed an artist, by awards and articles written.One of my
sisters is a professional artist also. Growing up in that
environment, it all seemed ‘normal’, like everyone had a talent or
two. Becoming an adult, and realizing that talents were rare, and
that people that didn’t have artistic talent, NEEDED to call such
people artist. And not looking for a term or to be pigeonholed I
suppose the way I look at someone, for instance, and athlete, he or
she has a talent in my eyes, therefore an athlete, though they may
feel uncomfortable calling themselves so, but it is who they are. I
come in contact with many folks that come to my studio and marvel at
some of my creations, and I am proud of them, but more, I see a joy
and appreciation in their eyes. And I am fulfilling something in
them, and I am thankful to have some resemblance of a talent to
share. They can call me artist, craftsman, jeweler,
…as long as they call me! Thomas Blair

From: “Karen Seidel” rocklady@nucleus.com

Dear Alan As a point of fact, at least with the word
jeweller/jeweler, Jeweller/y are the Canadian spelling and
Jeweler/jewelry are the American spellings. So the spelling often
tells whether the speller is an American or a Canadian, eh ;). So
that proves your language theory, even in two languages otherwise so
similar. PS. I am really enjoying your book ‘Professional
Goldsmithing’ that I was able to borrow from the ACAD library. Karen
Bahr “the Rocklady” (rocklady@nucleus.com) K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle


#9

The ideas of artist or ??? tweaks my heart today. I once took a
class with an artist agent, a woman who inspired us all to promote
our work in a variety of ways. Her ideas were interesting and
adventuresome. We were held in a trace of wonderland ideas. And
then she gave us the biggest gift of all. She said to us, “Remember
you are all artists. If you claim it, you are it. You do not have
to produce anything. It is in the mind’s eye. What you see in your
creative space long before it is applied to the animate is what
identifies you as an artist. You are an artist, simply because you
believe you are.”

From that day forth, I have labled myself an artist. I deep
breathe, sigh and fix my sights long before I sit down to the media.
I am an artist.