Jewellery Dream Land


Slightly cynical, slightly tongue in cheek, slightly long…

We start like this…

Jewellery Dream Land: I have made a D shaped wedding band with a
little special curve in it and I want to write a book on how it’s
made and I want to copyright everything. I would just hate to see
Wal-Mart selling my original design. What is the best way to go about

Real World: You should be so lucky that Wal-Mart looks at you. Your
fancy new idea is only a derivative of some other person’s idea. Very
few designs are completely original- all contain elements of others.

Conclusion: Copy write litigation makes lawyers rich, and wastes
your valuable design time. Those quick to litigate have weak design
skills. Make jewellery that’s well designed and difficult to make.
Remember 20% of the human Gene has been patented already. Go figure…

Jewellery Dream Land. I want to buy conflict free
melee/diamonds/rubies because of the horrible things done to the poor
people who struggle to mine these stones.

Real World: Miners know the odds and do it for the money it makes
them. Figure this: Ol’Harry in New York gets a 25ct rough diamond on
his desk. It is a stunning stone. It comes from the blood and guts of
exploded landmines and the death and disease of the innocents. It
cost him $20,000. He can sell it for $220,000 but no, our Harry is a
goooood guy, so he hands it into the Local Center for the Collection
of Conflict Stones, who crush them and scatter the powder to the four
winds. Not so?

Conclusion: Ol’Harry ain’t a good guy, so he gets rich, the miner’s
wife doesn’t become a prostitute and you buy diamonds from de Beers.

Jewellery Dream Land: After I finished my Accountancy degree, I took
up pencil sketching with recycled paper and now I am a jewellery
designer and I need some craftsman to help me make my beautiful
drawings real.

Real World. Your designs are impractical and dumb and will last as
long as a fleeting glance. Drawing two perfect circles does not make
a motorbike. First learn the mechanics of the trade, then design.

Conclusion: Amazing ideas are difficult to make. Cost is King;
Design is second- in- command.

Jewellery Dream Land: My Grandmothers second best friend died in a
horrific car crash on Friday the 13th. Her adopted son wants to sell
her diamond ring to me, which has a 5 carat color D flawless diamond
in it. I have a customer looking for just such a stone. Do you think
I should tell my customer about the way I got the stone?

Real World: At $60,000 your customer WANTS to know the history of
the stone.

At $30,000 your customer is INTERESTED in the history of the stone.
At $10,000 your customer LIKES the clarity and color of the stone.
At $5000 he sells his GRANDMOTHER for the stone.

Conclusion: Superstition and beliefs are dependent on price. Greed
is permanent

Jewellery Dream Land: I have resigned from my job as a
Software/Program writer and now I own a CAD/CAM milling machine.
Where can I sell my designs/waxes/ pieces?

Real World: CAD/CAM makes clunky jewellery. It is a tool and not a
shortcut. Many cad cam designs can be made quicker by a competent
jeweler by hand. Repetitive images, reverse designs or graduated
images are where Cad excels. The technology is young and will grow.
It has the possibility to overtake hand work. But not right now. The
designs that cad cam excels are in the niche market. Organic
materials do not sleep comfortably with CAD/CAM. Also, a large amount
of Kleenex tissues are needed for the tears you cry while you
overcome the’Steep Learning Curve’they all have attached to them.

Conclusion: There is no shortcut to traditional handsmithing skills.
You cannot make a Faberge Egg with Cad/Cam, but you can by hand.

Jewellery Dream Land I have invented a new method of combining
18carat yellow gold with crushed bricks and powdered whale tooth. It
is unique and I can’t say anymore on this forum until I have spoken
to my patent attorney. I want to make a new range that is going to
take the world by storm.

Real world: Mrs. Lisa Commercial likes commercial jewellery. She
thinks that gold and platinum are seriously avante garde and that
18ct is a waste of extra gold.

Conclusion: She didn’t know whales had teeth, or that bricks could
be powdered.

Jewellery Dream Land: I opened a shop and I did so well with my
designs that when I open four more I am going to make a killing.

Real World: Place, Place, Place, is an old Greek saying, I think.
From the one side of the street to the other side, walk those that
have, and those that do not have…

Conclusion. Never think you are cleverer than lady luck.

Jewellery Dream Land: I have spent 500 hours on this magnificent
piece of jewellery. It contains Canadian conflict free diamonds,
stunning repousse work, beautiful pav=e setting and 10 carats of hand
cut Mars Meteorites. When people see it they say “WOW! THAT’S

Real World: In 500 hours you could make 70 diamond rings. Easy. He
says, “Gee Wiz, Martha that is really nice ring. Do you like it as
well?” She says, “I love it, honey” —You sell it----. 70 times
over. Your bank manager and the landlord love you; you sweat less and
save on underarm deodorant.

Conclusion: Gee Wiz beats WOW! 70 times over

Jewellery Dream Land: I am going to give my customers a free
massage, a pedicure and small diamond set in their front tooth to get

Real World: A lot of good time is spent pleasing good customers that
don’t buy.

Conclusion: Your good customers will kill you, so watch out for the
hidden costs.

Jewellery Dream Land: I make found jewellery. I love picking up bits
of broken glass, bent nails and wood chips. I combine them into
surreal designs thatbring out the complexity and the sadness of the
world today.

Real World: You don’t make any money selling garbage in a jewellery
disguise. More money is made out of one 10ct gold ring than ten
rusted bent nail rings.

Conclusion: Upgrade your material— Rubbish in-- rubbish out.

Jewellery Dream Land: For ten years I have been working as a bench
jeweler. I want to open my own shop in a funky shopping mall. I have
all the tools and goldsmithing skills and I know which designs will

Real World: Is that so? Have you looked at shopping mall lease
contracts? They suck big-time. In ten years have you made any stock
for yourself? So you got an Accountant? Lawyer? A Working company? Do
you like your landlord? Can you handle being dragged from your bench
20 times a day? Yes? Go for it.

Conclusion: Watch out. You are working for your rent and by default,
for the shopping mall. Be prepared to handle the hassle your previous
boss did, and coming back to the stock you didn’t make— If you
ain’t got it, you can’t sell it.

Jewellery Dream Land: I have discovered Metal clay and now I am
making stunningly fine jewellery. It only took me a month and all I
need are my kitchen tools and my oven.

Real World: Metal clay is not better than wax carving and can not
make jewellery that is more intricate than traditional wax carving.
Manipulating the final product of metal clay requires more skills
than pressing forks and spoons into clay. Wax is infinitely complex,
metal clay belongs to the housewife brigade.

Conclusion: It is a great entry level product but higher levels of
smithing are not possible with metal clay. There is no shortcut to
traditional goldsmithing techniques.

Jewellery Dream Land: I have just finished twenty pieces of
jewellery. And now I am going to make a website to sell them. I love
fancy websites and so I amgoing to add music, flash and all kinds of
whirlies and twirlies to my opening page. I want perfume, music and
philosophy to make my dear customers buy my wonderful creations.

Real World: Your website sucks. Laugh the whirlies and twirlies off.
Show them designs. No music, perfumes or yadda, yadda. Make it open
quickly. Make your website work to people as stupid as I am, with the
attention span of a gnat. If you got “Skip Intro” on your front page,
people skip your website. Make iteasy to buy, with no hoops to jump
through. Also, link it to other good websites like yours. And don’t
listen to webdesigner’s hype talk.

Conclusion: KISS Keep It Straight and Simple

The above comes with no expressed or implied warranty. The judges
decisionis final and no correspondence will be entered into…

Cheers. Hans Meevis


Thank you for a great laugh on a rainy Monday morning. You have
obviously captured the essence of many of the recent discussions.

By the way, I have been saving an old tooth that I found at a junk
shop, some black feathers from the field behind the house, and a
wish bone from a roast chicken past. The intention is to wire wrap
them all together into a large pendant. To enhance the artistic
value, I will call the piece…“Eating Crow”. $$$$ God, I love this
business! Where else can I get paid to hit, burn, bend, and assemble
divergent things?

Hope your week is fun and profitable.

Bill Churlik


This is BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE IT! I wish I could show this to all my
beginning students. In fact, I decided to copy it, change a few
words, sign my name to it, and sell it to those students. I will
probably get so rich from this that I will have to buy a printing
press and hire a lot of people just to supply the demand.

Thanks, Hans.


Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107

Great post, Hans! I think you just addressed 70% of all the problems
discussed in this forum!

Lee Cornelius
Vegas Jewelers


Been at this crazy metal business for 35 years, Your absolutely
Great post had me in stitches, and practically on the floor…How
true, and your wonderful cynical piece is a great reminder to at
least some of us, to not take ourselves too seriously…Humour when
deftly applied, really lightens the atmosphere, and I believe you
neatly hit the proverbial nail on the head, and out of the park…


Thomas Gilbert

Wow, Hans.

I don’t really know what to say.

I think everyone who has made it in this business has spent a great
deal of time in Jewellery Dream Land. Waking up and moving forward
into the real world takes emotional and physical strength, even
tenacity. Your post may have made many people put their fist through
their monitor. It just made the whole fantasy to reality transition
sound so bloody hopeless.

There is a more pleasant manner by which one can help people who may
have the wrong idea about our trade. Cynical musings ain’t gonna get
you any love in this forum.

David Keeling


you may be the first jewelry oriented comedian. And with most good
comedy there is a LARGE measure of truth in your words. Kudos to you
my friend. I am definately keeping that post so I can read it
periodically…the truths of the profession in a nutshell…not
always nice, but definately realistic.

thankyou!!! (if you ever have the desire to go on another rant,
please make sure you do it on the webring.)

-julia potts

Well Hans,

You certainly pulled no punches and I did chuckle frequently. Thanks
for your witty situation/reality items. Could you have some
experience behind all those comments…Hmmm?? Enjoyed it,

Judy in Kansas

Cynical musings ain't gonna get you any love in this forum. 

David, judging from some of the other’s reactions, as well as my own,
I’d say you’ve missed the mark a little here.

Hans’post was great fun and a humorous reminder of some of the
lessons we’ve all had to learn along the way. And what better way to
be introduced to them than with a wee --if slightly painful-- nudge in
the ribs? Far, FAR better that way than the hard way I would say…
which tends to be the norm.

Trevor F.
in The City of Light

and… applause!! Very well written; very funny
and a keeper! C~

Hi David,

Your post may have made many people put their fist through their
monitor. It just made the whole fantasy to reality transition sound
so bloody hopeless. 

I recognized myself more often than not in each of Hans’ aphorisms
and laughed. But I believe that dreams and Hans’ wry comments that
followed may be just part of duality o Until two weeks ago I worked
in one bureaucracy after an other. That’s where dreams are killed.
For me, making jewellery, such that it is (naive, derivative,
unsophisticate With respect to you intro:

I think everyone who has made it in this business has spent a great
deal of time in Jewellery Dream Land. 

Wouldn’t you agree that this comment applies to any self-employed
person? Part of being self-employed is chasing the dream and being
creative, regardless of the domain of a And that’s why I absolutely
agree with you that for any self employed person,

Waking up and moving forward into the real world takes emotional
and physical strength, even tenacity. 

Entrepreneurs are perhaps way more resilient than the rest of us who
work in bureaucracies, and perhaps we should admire them for having
that trait.

Whether we consider Hans’ humour light or dark or both is up to us.
What I would propose, however, is that how we view Hans’ humour, in
particular, and the world, in general, is likely to be reflected in
the items we produce. And that in turn is likely to be reflected in
our successes in the market place.


Hans, I think your dream post was terrific, I recognized myself in
some of the dream portions…


Dear Hans

Thank you for your excellent post. I wish I was able to pin point so
much in a post like that. I was a little behind with my daily Orchid
fix, but you really made my day. And I fully agree to all in it.
Thanks again for letting me laugh so tears ran down my cheeks.

Niels Lovschal
Bornholm, Denmark