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[Tidbits] La Granja Workshop

Off we go to Majorca and to La Granja (The Farm). It is situated not
too far from the houses of Pierce Brosnan and Michael Douglas who
have made Majorca one of their nesting places. Oh were it only that I
could have a nesting place in a land as magnificent as this one. Back
in the 18th century La Granja was acquired by the Fortuny family. They
renovated the edifice giving it its current look.

This place was totally self-sufficient. The inhabitants did not need
the outside world. They had their own bakeries. They had their farms.
They had spinning rooms which turned fleece into yarn and then into
wearable fabric. They had their own dyeing room for coloring the
wool. They had their own leather tanning facilities. They had their
own torture chambers. or at least facsimiles thereof. And–oh you’re
not going to believe this–they had their own jewelry manufacturing
facilities. Yes they did. though the latter did not appear till some
time in the 19th century.

For the most part. until the 20th century. everything was powered by
water. including the generation of electricity when it became

But I digress. as I am occasionally wont to do. The main topic here
is the jewelry room. It’s fascinating. Though the machinery dates
back to the 19th century. it is all recognizable by today’s jewelry
craftspeople. You will recognize the melting furnace. the jeweler’s
torch. the wire drawing machine. a rolling mill. and a press.

In an age of an ever increasing high-tech world. one trade which
seems reluctant to leave it’s roots in the dust is the business of
hand made jewelry. I know one jeweler who still draws wire by hand to
make his own unique chain. Although he is well versed in Cad/Cam he
would be quite at home in this time of yesteryear.

This is a bit of a short article. it is more focused on the visuals
of a time gone by which still resides in the today of jewelry. Go
take a look. You will enjoy. You know where. Home page: Left hand menu. Click on Tidbits.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch
you all next week. Benjamin Mark