Lapidary Equipment, Professionals and evolution

Gerry, Before I begin to address your comments of the other day, I
want you to know that that I’ve generally welcomed and appreciated
your input, here, ever since I began receiving this list, about a
year ago. I also agree with the vast majority of it. With these
comments on professionalism – or, at least, your seemingly
inflexible definitions of what constitutes it – I think you may
have strayed a bit far off the path. One of the reasons I find your
comments both erroneous and disappointing is that they only take
into consideration what would seem to be the prejudices of a very
narrow segment of the vast “fine jewelry” landscape. namely, those
dedicated practitioners of one aspect or another, Another is that
they leave no room in either your life, or that of those who feel as
you do, for anything resembling growth or education. (After all, if
you’ve decided with absolute certainty that “your” way is the only
“right” way to accomplish anything, then there can’t be much sense
in opening yourself up to much of anything else, can there? Bear in
minde, Gerry: I’m not suggesting for a second that you aren’t
skilled – or even gifted, for that matter – at whatever it is that
you do, in your lapidary business. What I am submitting to you,
though, is that, three or four generations ago, there were those in
our own “lapidary” niche of the business who swore up and down that
cabochon cutters should only produce cabs, carvers should only
carve, and that faceters should limit themselves to only doing that
which they knew. What’s more, when I first began producing my
“Lightscapes” gem carvings, back in the early 1970’s, there were as
many jewelers in my area who were as incapable of comprehending the
potential markets for my goods as there were in Europe, for Bernd
Munsteiner’s, and he and I both received the same kinds of
condescending/patronizing remarks and distrustful glances concerning
what we “really should be doing”.

For my own part, I’ve been designing both functional and beautiful
“things” of all sorts since childhood. Before I reached the age of
fifteen, I was already cutting/selling and repairing cabs for
jewelers, designing rings, pendants and cufflinks, writing musical
compositions, songs, poetry and a book, and lecturing at both the
elementary and collegiate levels. I didn’t do these things because
somebody thought it was “the way it should be”; I did them because I
was inspired to create and share, and because I couldn’t come up
with any reasons compelling enough not to do so. Most recently, I
had the honor, priveledge and challenges of studying under Alan
Revere, out in San Francisco. Again, I did this because I believed
(and continue to) that doing so will enable me to bring more color,
more texture, more joy to this place, before the time eventually
comes for me to leave it. And, Gerry, just as this “wearable art”
career of mine has always followed a path with a wide range of
options along it, it’s okay if yours is as straight as an arrow;
what matters most is that we both have the options to choose the
paths that best suit us, as individuals. It’s only when I attempt to
impose my path on you, or you attempt to enforce the “correctness”
of yours, that difficulties arise.

May the next year be a happy, healthy and prosperous one for us all,
regardless of the path(s) we travel!

All my best,
Douglas Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith
Turet Design
P.O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476
Tel. (617) 325-5328
eFax (928) 222-0815

Doug & All, It is OK and welcome to disagree. I base my observations
on experience of my own and of others. About 15 years ago I did a
short apprenticeship under a master metalsmith. He taught me as much
as he could in 1 year about fabricating jewelry and casting jewelry.
My thought was knowing how to make jewelry would enhance my ability
to sell to my customers. What I found was the exact opposite. Many
of the best designers that I sold stones to told me straight to my
face - You cut stones, I make jewelry. If you infringe on my
profession I will no longer buy gemstones from you. It is business,
not art. Art as a business has boundaries. Unless you recognize and
respect those boundaries your business will be affected. How will it
be affected? That is a good question to which the answer is still not
clear. What happened to me 15 years ago seems to be changing. Many
Gemstone Dealers are now taking their stones that are slow to move
and having jewelry lines made in Asia. They have told me that the
market for these loose stones has lost its profitability with
professional jewelers. These dealers have changed their product line
and changed their customers. Another route that has taken place is
the number of gemstone dealers that are selling directly to the hobby
market. The professional market has dried up so they have found new
customers. Most of this market is in less than 1 carat stones, but
the volume is very high.

I base my observations on experience. As a dealer in Tucson for two
straight weeks I will talk to around 1,500 different jewelers,
gemstone cutters, and gemstone dealers. After that I will field many
calls from all over the world about my products. All this
forms my observations about the business of gemstones and
jewelry. You are welcome and encouraged to share your experiences and
observations. I will not call your observations narrow minded and
short sighted because you have different experiences and goals than I

Gerry Galarneau @Gerry Tucson 2003 G+LW
Gem Mall Feb 1 -Feb 14, Booth 111, Plenty of free parking and shuttle