Hello, all you right handed lefties.
It is really great to hear Brian is teaching this way. I started
apprenticing at the bench when I was 13 years old. I worked after
school with our Polish trained goldsmith. He was right handed and
torched with his left. He did not give me the option, and just made
me learn with my left. five years later I went on to do the Graduate
Jeweler program at GIA and found that not one bench in my classroom
had a torch plumbed on the left. My instructors found it very
confusing that I was right handed wanting to use the torch with my
left. They insisted that I try with my right. I started to feel that
maybe I was taught the wrong way from beginning. Needless to say I
did not switch.
Since then, I have gone on to apprentice with one Swiss and one
German Platinum/Goldsmith that too used there right hand for
soldering (they were both right handed) they just didn’t get it. I
very rarely hear of someone learning this way, but truly feel Brian
is onto something. Why use the torch in your good hand? You need it
for delicate operations that take a steady good hand.
I found that the right handed right torch wielding goldsmith tends
to use more jigs, 3rd and 4th hands, and supports when soldering
components than a righty using his left. If I need more precision or
steadiness with my torch (like when welding), I will steady my torch
tip with the end of my tweezers. Now that I run my own workshop and
am fortunate to see a range of craftspeople I would say the bad
handed torch guys are pretty efficient.
Keep up the good work Brian!
Jacob Buckareff G.J.G.(GIA)