A Blog For Showcasing Accomplished Jewelry Designers and Bead/Jewelry News
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Jeweler, Metalsmith, Goldsmith, Silversmith? What are we?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the Orchid network for jewelry professional and hobbyists. This online forum is one of the most valuable sources of information for me as a jewelry designer thirsty for knowledge from those with more experience.
Recently a fascinating thread has been circulating that someone started by asking a simple question. What do people who make and/or sell jewelry call themselves?
You might think we'd know this seemingly simple answer but it sparked a debate that is going on several days now.
The consensus seems to be that we are JEWELERS...and that a person is a JEWELER is they sell jewelry, even if they don't know much about making it. However that doesn't make a person necessarily a BENCH JEWELER who must apparently know how to do repairs as well as make jewelry.
And, a person can be a GOLDSMITH even if they never work with gold. A goldsmith, we learned, is any person who makes small objects of precious metals, usually for personal adornment. It was also said that a GOLDSMITH must see the big picture; creating from initial conception through completion.
A SILVERSMITH on the other hand, is a person who works on larger hollowware; things like candleholders, knifes, forks, spoons, plates etc....
Some call themselves METALSMITHS, however, one person mentioned that she has been contacted to make wrought iron and shoe horses...not exactly the same thing!
Given that I rarely work with gold, I hardly feel that "goldsmith" works for me, though it sure sounds nice! I previously thought a better term for me was either "metalsmith" or "silversmith" but I learned that neither of those are right at all!
So, I have decided I am a JEWELER. I like the ring to that as well, although as a "jeweler" I have so much still to learn from far more accomplished jewelers. At one of my classes, I noticed a man wearing an apron that said "Jeweler In Training". Maybe that's me!
I spent the past 26 years as the co-founder/owner of a video production company in Los Angeles. During those years, I worked with many of the world's biggest celebrities, recording artists and fashion/consumer brands. It was exciting and fulfilling, but after more than a quarter century, it was time to MOVE ON!
My business partner and I were able to sell our business to investors which gives us the opportunity to focus on our passions.
For the past few years, I have been making jewelry--first as a hobby and then more seriously as I started focusing on jewelry design for my next career. My latest work can be seen on Etsy under the seller name: NakedJewelry.
I have always strived to be at the top and I know I have the best chance of getting there by learning from the best, so I use my blog to showcase the most accomplished jewelry designers and tell others about interesting vendors and teachers I encounter as I build my business. I hope you find the information interesting! If you do, please share with your friends!