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Higher Learning


I’m the one who wrote about “higher learning.” I sure didn’t intend
to put anyone down and I did note that you didn’t see my original.
Actually, I come out of an art education program and that was a long
time ago. Since then, my major contact with "art " education has
been that of workshop participant at Arrowmont. Most of the metal
instructors that I have been privileged to study under there are
college instructors. Everybody shares what they know. I was also
speaking from the perspective of one who has never run a business and
never intends to try. I do sell small quantities at small local shows
and count myself lucky that I do not have to make a living from my
art. I do not work in gold and precious gems. I like tools and new
techniques and I like teaching adults who also do not intend to make
a career of it. I also do not like psyco art babble and never have,
even when I was in school. I don’t speak it myself. A lot of it is
what I term “word stringing.” Years ago, I was in a workshop taught
by Komelia Okim. As it happened, there were a number of young Korean
students in the group. At the end of the week, she gave them a very
public dressing down for loafing (I thought that they had been
working enough, myself) and also a lecture about what a shock it had
been to anticipate a visit home only to discover that the jewelers
she visited didn’t share . I have lost track of Komelia,
but feel sure that she is still teaching on a college campus
somewhere. She was an excellent instructor.

Remember that not everyone on this list is a professional jeweler
and our approach to things will be different. We haven’t had to spend
days and weeks perfecting certain skills through repetition and
probably can’t resize rings or retip diamonds or sell high end
jewelry the way that you do. However, we share the same love of
materials and process that you do.

Marilyn Smith


Marilyn, No worries!I am just spouting out my theory of the way
things might be.In my imaginary perfect jewelry world.You could only
make and sell jewelry if you were tutored by a master Italian
goldsmith.Not that I feel Italians are better goldsmiths.I just like
the way they talk.Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio