LOL you don't need to spend a lot of money to have a professional
So true, Richard!
When I see someone with a whole bunch of specialized tools like
setting jigs, drill press setups for drilling anniversary bands (that
they didn't design and make themselves) five hundred wax carving
tools, etc, I always wonder why. Are they just a tool junkie, or are
they trying to replace skill with tooling? Unfortunately, it's
sometimes the latter. You can easily tell by looking at their work.
Tooling very rarely makes up for a lack of skill with any degree of
success. CAD work can demonstrate this better than just about
anything. Someone that knows what they're doing can do some pretty
amazing stuff that you would never know was computer designed and
generated. Someone buys it thinking they can sit down, read a bit and
change the jewelry world in a year, well, most of us have seen the
resulting, uh, results.
Someone on Orchid a few years ago said something along the lines
that she viewed her tools as her jewelry. "A jewelers jewelry" she
said, I think. I LOVE that! Can't remember who, but she deserves full
credit. Noel, maybe? Jo?
I use pretty minimal tooling, although I am a confirmed tool junkie.
For wax, I use a reamer, a mold knife, three or so different gravers,
a couple of different files and a wax pen. That's usually all I ever
need. Most really good carvers use the same basic tools. Kate Wolf
has a set of wax tools that's really cool, though. One of the guys
that works for me has the full set, but talking about it the other
day, we agreed that except for very unusual carving, there are really
only three or four that get used much. Still kinda cool to have. I
Your list Richard, pretty well sums up the decently equipped shop
for a newbie or hobbyist, as well as many professionals. A truly
skilled and talented gold / silversmith can do unbelievable work with
minimal tools. Look at some of the native American jewelry for
example. They often use literally nothing more than ground down
nails, a chunk of railroad track, files, propane plumbing torches and
hammers. They can create some of the most astounding things with
those simple, hand made and rudimentary tools though. What craftsmen
from centuries ago were able to create with what was available just
flat blows me away.
So now I got to get back to my custom bench so I can use my micro
motor to cut some seats while looking through my microscope and then
use my power hone to sharpen some gravers for my Lindsay Airgraver to
raise a few beads. Hope I don't have to use the laser on this job
Who says you don't need LOTS of toys? Er, uh, toolse?