good post Terrie. Interesting link to James Miller. The idea of
sharing info is great.
In Australia we have the House of Jewellery, tool suppliers. It is
staffed by ex trade jewellers who can’t wait to share the “trade
secrets” and sell the right tool for the job. Also it has some new
graduates who keep everyone up to speed, hi Charles.
Also when I was at the “School for Silversmiths” we had trade
jewellers, engravers, hollowware makers, newbies, hobby people etc.
And the amount of trade secrets shared was great. I had been in parts
of the trade for years and was working with resin at the time and had
trouble getting a good polish. In lesson one I was told to polish
with stainless steel polish as it gives a high finish and cuts as
Saved so much time and boosted sales.
But there is the dark side too. Integrity, not really.
I was offered serious money by a customer when I worked at Beadco to
give away the suppliers list. Tough luck mate I worked for a dear
Also my apprentice was continually asked (LOL) how we made the
resin, a technique I developed. This guy did not know what big mean
friends I had. He was told to stop picking on the kid or else. He got
I also had samples, given out on the promise of orders, copied. That
ended particularly badly for that guy. He wondered where his
customers went. Sold to his shops at half the price. They were only
happy to buy from me rather than meet my barrister/lawyer.
They were my original designs.
So newbies be careful who you “play” with I learnt not to do
anything till I had cash in my hand. In the end I supplied over 100
shops in Australia and a few overseas. ALL PAID A DEPOSIT AND THE
BALANCE ON DELIVERY.
Got so sick of all the sh*t I retired to the country. I make small
volume now. I look up from my bench over the river and my wharf,
watch the sea eagles nesting. Luck and tragedy bought me a house on
the river. Then I go back home to the house in the forest.
It would be perfect, if only the bloody cicadas would shut up. They
are big this year, think thousands.
Like many on this forum I would make for free, as jewellery is an
addiction/passion/mental illness, LOL.
So newbies be careful once the jewellery bug bites you will be
addicted for ever. This addiction is made worse by the likes of
Hanuman (LOL) who has created this wonderful resource. Which lets
all us mad ones share, argue and make the trade progress. We are a
I sincerely wish all of you be you master, apprentice or newbie the
best for 2014.