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Repair jeweler


#1
        New graduate of University metals program. <snip>. Would
love to hear from people just starting out and trying to find some
direction. Am not interested in working as repair jeweler, just a
designer that wants to create and possibly sell.

First, Welcome! This is great community.

You mentioned you are not interested in repair jewelry… my two
cents is this… it’s not glamorous, but you CAN learn SO much from
repairing jewelry. When you can open up a job envelope and not know
what’s coming at you until that point, and restore, or size it or
re-set a stone that’s fallen out, after re-building or re-tipping a
prong, etc, you have learned intimately how something is made. It is
a fantastic learning curve. It plants seeds of inspiration, how to
"build a better mouse trap", etc. Just being in a shop environment
and absorbing from more experienced jewelers is the best
education. I no longer work in someone else’s shop, or repair for a
living, although I still do repair, mostly I make my own jewelry to
sell in galleries and shops. But what I learned in a repair shop was
invaluable.

Have fun!
www.LauraGuptillJewelry.com


#2

Hello Laura Guptill

Your comment about learning much from doing repairs is SO true!!
Very good educational opportunity. The same can be said about
altering garments… I learned so many short-cuts and better
techniques by taking apart a piece of clothing to alter it.

Judy in Kansas, where upper 90s(F) are predicted. Going to sweat a
little as I beat off the mosquitoes!


#3
    New graduate of University metals program. <snip>. Would love
to hear from people just starting out and trying to find some
direction. Am not interested in working as repair jeweler, just a
designer that wants to create and possibly sell. 

Ever notice that when a new actor, writer, musician, dancer or any
other type of artist springs onto the scene and gets the worlds
notice, they aren’t really new most of the time. If we look a bit
deeper into their background we see that they have been around for
many years, struggling to perfect their art and get noticed. Sure,
there are exceptions, and some of those exceptions will actually
survive for a while, too. But mostly, the really good ones are the
ones who have many years of journeyman labor behind them on the way
to becoming a master.

I agree with this response, that repair is a great way to learn the
ropes, but however you want to do it, lets not get the idea that
repair, trade production and other work are ‘lower callings’ and look
down your nose at them. I’m glad you aspire to be a designer, but
starting out at the top is probably not such a great thing. For one
thing, there is only one way to go from there. Down!

Jim
http://www.forrest-design.com


#4

Anybody can design or call themselves a designer but they are
usually up the creek when their work breaks and it comes back to
them. They are also a dime a gross. Yes, I am opinionated. I have
long ago learned that the repair person has to be at least as good as
the designer to understand and fix the piece. If you don’t understand
the materials and how it was made, how can you reproduce the same
quality and care in the repair. I have always worked to produce a
proper repair that can not be seen as something different from the
original part. Repair work is the tech school for us. There is little
in the books that will teach you what several days studying a piece
will. Especially when you touch estate pieces. How did Faberge’s shop
produce spun gold ? Look at the “grass” on the Lily of the Valley
piece.The more you learn what to do with you materials, the more
design options are opened up for you.

I take JCK in part to be aware of what design problems…
engineering failures… are going to be coming over the bench next
year. If every designer had to spend a year learning to fix what they
design, there might just be better pieces on the street.

As I said earlier, I am opinionated. (I spent a few years doing
fancy woodwork. I am convinced that castration should be required for
an architect (auto engineers too) to receive their degree. Clean up
the gene pool so to speak.)

Bill Churlik
@Bill_Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com