I have been at the bench myself since 1975. Secretive jewelers, who
wish to guard their skills from others is nothing new. Ours has often
been seen as a relatively closed craft, where secrets are guarded
carefully by somecraftsmen.
On the other hand there have always been others who ARE willing to
take the time to help a new jeweler develop skills. Not everyone is
patient enoughto be a good teacher. Not every jeweler is willing to
help create his own future competition, or that is how some see it.
Some though find joy in teaching skills to others.
I was just at Stuller’s Bench Jeweler gathering, and there are still
generous, skilled teachers like Kate Wolf, Blaine Lewis, and others
who are more than willing to teach you tricks, skills and tools.
Teaching is a demanding trade itself, and a working bench jeweler
has limited time to also teach, but I am sure that there are still
many who willtake an occasional promising apprentice under their
wing, and help guidetheir development.