The OLD saying, "If it ain't broke, why fix it!" Yes there are innovations, but are they always improvements?
True, if it ain’t broke, why fix it. The point is progress for
progress’ sake is fruitless imo, but if something can be improved it
says to me that it wasn’t working at 100% in the first place.
I’ll look at a process, and see if it can be improved (I used to be
an analyst, and improving things was my job), I’d leave something
alone if it could not be done better. Better is a subjective term of
course, but we usually had parameters written down, so that
expectations were met. An analyst has to know how the process works,
to even be able to attempt improvements. It means a “lot” of
For example the jewellery techniques we use today aren't hundreds of years old, none of us on this list are that stuck in traditions, and thank God for that. Excuse me on this one! I AM STUCK IN THE PAST. My metalsmithing and jewelry work is done on stage at a Shakespeare Festival. I recreate as close as possible the manner an item was made in the 1600's. Thank God I get paid for this! Most tools we use today, except for electric ones, were used long ago as well. We may have refined them, but the basic ones are still mostly the same.
It was a general statement aimed at the “traditional” modern
jeweller, another subjective term. The term for what you do is
commonly called “tribal” jeweller, or experimental archaeologist.
It’s a very exciting field, and I know a few scholars around the
globe that dedicate all their time to their research. I keep in
contact with them, in case they re-discover an old technique that can
be of use to me.
I would love to see you work, I’m working on getting an experimental
soldering tool for Anglo Saxon jewellery reproduction. It sort of
looks like a scented oil burner, the ones that use a tea light. So I
am very interested in the techniques that you use, although the ones
I’m researching are a little earlier
I am very impressed and glad that someone that puts that much effort
into making a replica gets compensated accordingly. A lot of people
do not see the value in the work (a previous example from me is
sewing needles at $30 a pop, plus a minimum order quantity, made by
The only thing I could suggest that could earn you some extra cash
is to make a DVD of yourself working. I remember a man that did this
with coracles, and he got some play money out of it
It is just to keep questioning and demanding proof when you don't do the work to see for yourself what you question is right or wrong, makes you look like the little kid who sits in the back of a car and keeps asking endlessly "why?" Reactions from people then are to tune you out. This board is made up of wonderful very experienced professionals who have done the work, and pass on their sagely advise to try and save us the hardships of doing it wrong. My suggestion to you Charles, is to do the work and experiment then come back with specific questions as to why you failed.
I agree with you, but if the techniques aren’t properly explained,
it leads to frustration. When it’s explained “why” techniques work,
there’ll be no questions, just understanding.
I will ask “why” if I don’t understand something, or if my
experiences are different, that’s something I can’t apologise for,
and it’s not a disrespectful thing at all.
I know how most alloys and elements are supposed to work (some
alloys I have a lot of personal experience with), but there’s always
room for improvement, as the combination of alloys is almost
I also have a good forging hammer, anvil, manual rolling mill, and an electric rolling mill. Any time you want to work on this matter you are welcome in my garage.
I would love to come over and chew the fat and work on techniques,
and I thank you for the kind offer. I will give it a miss at the
moment, as the swim from Australia is a little extreme
Kindest regards Charles A.