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Jewlery philosophy


#1

All,

Hello. I hope everything is going well. I was going to ask a question
about jewelry advertising that centered around how many of you would
consider using neon signs on your store if you have a brick and
mortar business. I was going to ask that if you do, would you
consider telling your neon sign person to expand the tube and inside
it include fluorescent (uranium glass, etc.) models that would
brilliantly fluoresce in yellow, orange, green, etc. colors that
could be made really complex. You could make glass models of your
wares nd include them on the hand model. Problem is the message might
not come across well, it would look odd.

However, do not worry about answering that. I have noticed in the
past if I asked questions of that vein, for example “What about using
x metal for yapplication?”. If x were any of the lesser known pgm
for example and y were for casting metals, I would get two classes
of responses. One was basically “That’s stupid” and the other was
"That is really neat, but I don’t know if it would work". My point
is that there is a really interesting division of at least that
portion of this group of you that are willing to discuss topics. You
seem to have an artistic set that appear to actaully NEED to
constantly try completely new things because either you want to
suprise people and you need this for your art or some other reason.
Then there are the artisans that perform the jewelry functions in
very much the same way as in the 19th century and hold extremely
conservative views. I TRULY mean no disrespect. The 19th century
people actually are often very, very skilled craftsmen, much like
the Amish with woodworking. None are better. I must say I find this
fascinating because of the many hobbies I have had in my life, I have
never seen it where two such diverse and in many ways diametrically
opposed groups have coexisted in a seemingly peaceful way. For
example, stamp dealers despite the very complex nature of stamp
collecting, I have found to be about 95% of their version of your
19th century jeweler and they seem to discuss differences and argue
topics that for this group would be probably trifles. Much more
argument about trifles even though the overall views were much less
diverse.

Again, it’s okay to ignore my question. I really just wanted to
write this to show respect that all of you are able to get along so
well despite the fact I can tell you have very different views not
only on your trade but life as well.

Seech


#2
You seem to have an artistic set that appear to actaully NEED to
constantly try completely new things because either you want to
suprise people and you need this for your art or some other
reason. Then there are the artisans that perform the jewelry
functions in very much the same way as in the 19th century 

Well, Seech, that’s an interesting point of view, and true in some
cases. I’ll point out that there are two kinds of people in the
world: Those who think there are two kinds of people in the world,
and those who don’t. Hopefully Seech will have opened up a fine
discussion…

I’d guess that I’m one of the 19th century types he talks about, but
I think there’s a misunderstanding, too. It’s not that that’s what I
am, it’s what I have become. I have already “NEEDED” to try new
things and surprise people. All, or most of the things that young
people here are playing around with, many of us don’t even remember
anymore (“I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know” is a bit
mean-spirited but there’s some truth to it, too). There are some who
started with classical training from the start, and know little
else, true. But there are some who have simply evolved into
something more, too. There’s an Orchid member who I won’t name who I
met in her early years, putting arty bits of wire together for $20.
Now she’s a fine designer with a large shop and several employees.
Can’t stand still, gotta grow…


#3

Seech- It’s all about what makes us and our targeted customers
happy. I like doing some techniques because I’m good at it and it’s
fun. Tim and I make things that our customers like, so that they give
us money. As often as possible we like to do things that both we and
our customers like.We often succeed in convincing the clients to go
with our ideas.

We are pretty old school in our work. OK we’re dinosaurs. Still,we
learn new things every day. I’ll try most anything once while I need
to do some “convincing” (read nagging) to get my sweetie to try new
tools or techniques. It’s a good balance for us. The bottom line is
though that our clients expect old school craftsmanship from us with
contemporary designs and that’s what we deliver.

Oddly enough in this biz climate we’ve had the best year ever. Go
figure. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#4
Again, it's okay to ignore my question. I really just wanted to
write this to show respect that all of you are able to get along
so well despite the fact I can tell you have very different views
not only on your trade but life as well. 

Yes, but now we have to fight about your post! (And neon lights seem
inappropriate for a jewelry store.)

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#5

Hi Seech,

Thanks for a fun post. No. I wouldn’t advertise with neon
personally. But I think it is probably just the thing for someone
else. Why not?

My jewelry philosophy, business philosophy and personal philosophy
are all interwoven. Each has different emphasis and each is something
of a struggle because the audience/customers/business
associates/community/family all have their own point of view, which
surprisingly is never exactly the same as mine.

When you start delving into artistic motive and personal fulfillment
as an artist, it helps a lot if you recognize right off the bat that
we are not driven to make this stuff for the same reason that people
might want to buy it. The trick is to find an audience that comes
pretty close to sharing your vision. Or to express your vision in a
way that draws them in and converts them to your point of view. I
find it helps if I imagine who is going to wear my work when I am
creating it. They might be a real person I know that I am actually
making it for, or they might be an imagined customer. Thinking of
"them" while I work helps bridge the difference between what I want
and what they want.

There is a harsh reality that many of the more sensitive among us
have a big problem with. That is that “art” is a status symbol.
Owning art or paying for it, in the case of public art, expresses
personal importance and self indulgence. Even more so for jewelry.
That certainly isn’t all that it is. But it is a big part of it. For
the past century, modern art has overlaid the dimension of
intellectual status symbol to jewelry that aspires to be “art”. Much
angst can come from this.

Seech, I absolutely agree that this is a fantastic forum. There are
people here who do jewelry because it is their job to serve their
bosses or customers, but they still have the enthusiasm to contribute
to the discussion in their spare time. And there are those who are
making jewelry because it is an obsession. When I was an art student
in the 1970s, it was “us and them”. We artistic jewelers, no,
metalsmiths. whatever we thought we were, had only one use for the
mainstream jewelry industry and that was to contrast ourselves to it,
as we aspired to be on a more enlightened plane. I am glad that the
foolishness and vanity of that point of view has given way to greater
tolerance and mutual respect. The success of this forum is certainly
a big help and a valuable asset to jewelry culture.

Stephen Walker


#6

Hi Seech…

I hope everything is going well. I was going to ask a question
about jewelry advertising that centered around how many of you
would consider using neon signs on your store if you have a brick
and mortar business. I was going to ask that if you do, would you
consider telling your neon sign person to expand the tube and
inside it include fluorescent (uranium glass, etc.) models that
would brilliantly fluoresce in yellow, orange, green, etc. colors
that could be made really complex. You could make glass models of
your wares nd include them on the hand model. Problem is the
message might not come across well, it would look odd. 

Despite you not really requiring answers to your “questions” I can’t
help but say that if I knew someone who could make a neon sign that
would be visible in daylight (I don’t open at night) and that
reflects what I make in may little studio gallery… I would do it!
Living in a small country town I think a neon sign would be totally
awesome. And I know what it would look like. It would be waves in
blues, turquoises and greens travelling in waves over the roof of my
little shop. Down here I would become a tourist attaction for the
sign alone.

If anyone from South Australia with the ability to custom make neon
signs is interested I’d love to hear from them. Thanks for idea Seech
and keep those wild ideas coming.

Renate


#7
Yes, but now we have to fight about your post! (And neon lights
seem inappropriate for a jewelry store.) 

Perhaps because neon has been around for quite some time, The thought
should be entertained (to some peoples horror) that art deco style
jewelry designers may have been influenced by art and beauty of neon
lighting, Despite low opinions about the appropriateness neon
lighting in a jewelry store those designers may have even liked neon

goo


#8

Hello,

Where I worked at UCSD for 24 years, we had a neon department, and I
was always working out trades with the neon instructors. In fact, My
girlfriend and I used to ride this 20 mi. Midnight Madness bicycle
ride every year, and I had a battery powered neon bicycle I rode
every year. In its most extreme manifestation, my steel frame 18
speed was fully neon-lit, including 2 neon tubes in each wheel, zip
tied to the spokes, as well as along the frame, handlebars, and
forks. I had a controller on the handlebar which “pulsed” the neon on
the frame, so that the bike flashed as you rode it. Needless to say I
was a huge hit every year, and won quite a few prizes.

Go for the neon. Contact any electric sign company, which should
either make their own neon tubing, or contract with someone who has a
shop who does. I can have anything you want made here in San Diego,
but shipping to Australia is pretty tricky, but not impossible if you
crate it right.

I’m considering putting some of my neon collection in my studio here
in San Diego.

Neon is just so cool! Also, I’ve seen jewelry with real neon in it!

Jay Whaley