I figured it out. After months of thinking I decided what I want to
be when I grow up or at least what I will from now on call myself
when asked what I do. No longer will I be a “metalsmith”,
“silversmith” , “goldsmith” ,“jeweler”, “artist”, “art jeweler”, “I
make jewelry…” I will from now on say I am a “silver and
goldsmith”. I decided while reading an Orchid thread a while back
about this topic that saying I was and “Art Jeweler” was inviting a
half hour description of what it is that I do, in other words 99.99%
of anyone I told that to wouldn’t know what the hell it was and even
worse would think of buying anything from me when they wanted
jewelry. Same with “metalsmith” few people are interested in what the
hell that is. Saying “silversmith” brings to mind Paul Revere if they
are at all educated and then invites the question, " do you work in
gold" if they connect the “silversmith” label with jewelry.
Saying “artist” invites," you PAINT???" since only 2D are artists in
the public mind.
If I wish to make a living at this craft, I would not say “craftsman"
since few would connect that to what I usually do to make a living,
it had to be a name I would be proud to say and not have to explain
too much, I’m not a social animal despite what you might have seen on
stage on previous Orchid dinners. “jeweler” brings to my mind a bench
jeweler which I am not, that would be insulting to real bench
jewelers who actually know what they are doing. My work doesn’t
compare to an experienced bench jeweler, my stone setting is crude
and slow. My carving is cartoonish. I can fabricate like nobody’s
business and I think I can innovate pretty damn well. " I am a gold
and silver smith” brings to my mind an old world craftsman and
invites educated questions since the title is succinct, “do you work
with diamonds?”, yes, " do you work with colored stones?", yes, " do
you hit metal with hammers?" yes. What do you think?
Sam Patania, Tucson