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Jewelry for Jewelers

Who hasn’t seen Tee shirts emblazoned with sayings such as:“TOOL
FOOL”, bumper stickers with: “I BRAKE FORTOOLS”? How many times have
you as a jeweler, givenan encircled picture or catalog description of
a tool or machine with thenotation saying: “This is the one that I
want for my anniversary, wedding,birthday, holiday, etc”? Jewelers
fall into a very special category of unique individuals. Those on the
"outside" have a hard time coming up with gift ideasfor them. Flowers
won’t work with this crowd; candy leaves them cold, brandyisn’t the
answer, and diamonds?.they would only use them to make something
forsomeone else! No.the best way to show love or friendship to this
group is togive them a tool. These folks still cherishtheir very
first good tool, andprobably still use it every day. In my case, I
still have tools given to me bymy father over sixty years ago, and
even though I don’t use them much anymore,as our interests diverged,
I still fondle them with reverence. Good tools freecreativity, while
poor tools limit it. I have been making tools for jewelers and
metalsmiths formore than twenty years, and for the longest time
didn’t recognize that my appreciationfortools and machinery was
shared by others. This was brought home to me when I shipped a tool
to a customer and it happened to arrive on her birthday, alongwith a
box of long-stemmed roses from her brother, and a package from
herhusband. As she related this story to me later, she confessed that
she opened minefirst. After all, the piece that she was working on
needed the tool to finishit, and her husband would get to see her
open his gift to her. Now, this isrationalization of the first order.
For the past 20 years, I have been trying to figure out howto
describe to others what it is that I do. I realize now that I occupy
a verysmall niche within the universe circumscribed by the field of
jewelry. Whilesome would say that I am an insignificant piece of the
larger puzzle, I feelthat I participate in making objects of beauty.
That’s good enough for me. What I do is create jewelry for jewelers.

Lee Marshall

Lee I love it! “TOOLS are a girls best friend”. Being a toolaholic,
I totally relate. My son has made me tools that are most thrilling -
hand made from old files - and the ones he did as he was training to
be a machinist - a wonderful brass hammer - a steel mandrel - just to
name a few. Christmas is coming - give me more tools! Can’t name all
the tools that have been unwrapped!

Right now I am sitting on 6 wax medallions - tooled on both sides by
a wonderful machine that my son has. I have really followed in his
footsteps - he had marvelous training in high school and a natural
artist. But now I think that I have to take them to Richard Hart (I
am talking about you!!!) to cast. One son wants them in fine silver
so he can enamel them, but don’t think I can get this delicate job
done with my equipment.

Yes, I have a burn out kiln - I think the acetylene is inadequate
for fine silver (#5 and #6 tips work for other casting) - the Aquavac
would do the job, but I can’t take the chance of wrecking his
beautiful design!

Happy, Happy, Merry, Merry Christmas from Denver - looks like about
4 inches of beautiful snow covering everything this morning!!! Rose
Marie Christison

Oh thank you!!! You have got this one soooo ooo right… My dear
husband can’t even go to the hardware (my favourite shopping
experience) as he feels so out of his depth. Now I get flowers -
which are really beautiful - but TOOLS would be so much nicer!!! (I
still covet the oilstone in my fathers garage that belonged to my
grandfather -who was a carpenter-)

Thank you, Lee! I’ve tried to explain this to my husband and
non-metalsmithing friends to no avail! Tools are always the first
thing my metalsmith friends and I talk about-what’s new? what works
best? etc. Patricia BTW-Love my Bonny Doon HP as it is one of the
most versatile tools in my studio and loved your workshop (and still
refer to my notes) in Wyoming several years ago.

Cheers to you!

Lee, do you have a website that you can share with us?


do you have a website that you can share with us? 

Based upon the responses that have been posted, I do seem to have
struck a common chord that runs through the metalsmithing community.
My site is:

Still designing and making new tools, primarily focusing on sawing.


I have been making tools for jewelers and metalsmiths for more than
twenty years, and for the longest time didn't recognize that my
appreciation for tools and machinery was shared by others. 

This thread made me grin : ) You really hit the nail on the head… My
husband says he fell in love with me the day I showed him my studio
and I had a better set up and variety of tools than he had in his
shop! Our first dates consisted of him coming over to my place to use
all my tools! No dinner and a movie for us! Any time I wander into a
flea market I always come away with some neat gadget even if I don’t
know what it is I’ll bring it home & google it to find out. My
favorite tool is my silly little wax carver its a sewing needle
mounted on a sawed off chop stick. I filed a little scoop out of the
needle under a microscope and have that in my hand 12 hours a day.
Have a great Holiday! Mary : )

PS What kind of tools do You make?