As an fairly elderly, fairly new “jeweler”, I fully intended to
become a fabricator and smith. Now, having figured out not just the
time and money and physical endurance problems, but the space
problems as well, I doubt I’ll ever get there. I don’t want to sleep
with e.g. a rolling mill in my bedroom and I can’t afford one anyway.
And, since (having little foresight) I never got over being a hippie,
I don’t own a house, so I can’t just add a studio. But I can have a
kiln and a tumbler in my windowless hellhole of a garage.
For someone like me, PMC is a miracle–as is wire, still my primary
medium, and “forged” quite frequently on a tiny horn anvil. And, even
though I used to work in ceramics, I don’t find the PMC learning
curve all that short–not if you want to make something really
beautiful and well finished (I think it was shorter with the original
version, but I find the newer ones somewhat tricky). Actually, I
found the learning curve for texturing successfully with a rolling
mill shorter than for texturing successfully with PMC.
Furthermore…many of the best PMC pieces I see incorporate some
traditional skills. I’m still trying to set up a way to solder bezels
and jump rings with a microtorch (yes, In my bedroom, with the pickle
pot in the bathroom–the only room with an exhaust fan).
I don’t understand why so many jewelers consider carving wax to be
"making real jewelry" and working with PMC to be “making hobbiest
junk.” Sorry, ive, I usually love your posts, but, in this case, I
think you’re comparing apples and oranges. What would you have said
if the customer had asked if the piece was “that lost wax cast