I live in France right now, which sounds very romantic, but I'm
really missing the resources I had in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We had many schools teaching jewelry arts (Revere Academy to name
one), Several excellent sources for materials and tools, wholesale
gem markets coming through regularly, galleries showing jewelry, lots
of stores selling jewelry. It's a beautiful place to live with a lot
The one problem. It's also incredibly expensive.
Here in France, while it has many pluses. I haven't found the same
resources as the Bay Area. And something a bit unexpected: I don't
find much jewelry done with semi-precious stones in the "Bridge"
category. There is the high-end Cartier type stuff or there is
costume jewelry in crystal and often just in brass.
In San Francisco just about every little boutique clothing store
also has a very nice collection of handmade jewelry. Here, so far,
many of the clothing stores don't carry jewelry and if they do, it's
often pretty crappy.
Maybe I'll find more as I live here longer, but this is my
impression so far.
So far this is the only store I've seen that I thought was doing
really nice, interesting work (fine jewelry):