As you said it, some people get it in the trade and some don’t. I
have students who want to be in the repair trade, or work as a
benchworker, and to be honest, they will never make it for they just
don’t have the mindset, the drive, understanding how the metals,
stones, tools, etc behaves. I had one student who washed out of the
North Bennet Street School, and even after spending 9 months there,
she’s still so nervous about soldering, what’s the next step? I’m
pretty much done with her - I can’t teach her anything more unless
she wises up, and find the inner fire. Another misguided student
wants to take antique pins and convert them into wearable jewelry.
Only problem is that it requires really skilledgoldsmiths to do
that, and I’ve done the convertions for her. She just doesn’t get
The goldsmith I work for, he’s self-taught for the most part, but
workedfor his goldsmith father (who I also worked for) and Jamie is
one hellof a stonesetter. He really thinks each step, analyzing each
step, forthe best finish and setting. I’m learning stuff that is
never, ever mentioned in any school, book, online, so forth. Between
the two of us, we have over a half century worth of experience.
I’m for the most part frustrated, disgusted and weary of how little
realis out there for proper gem setting, and how much
mispeople pick up. I do my best in teaching, but unless
those students get it, they will do what they are capable of.
Always keep striving, always keep improving.