Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Am I Obsolete?

Two posts back, in the one titled Back to the Future, I told you that I was re-entering the custom jewelry field after an absence of nearly thirty years.  Man have things changed!  As I made my way from one retail jeweler to another inquiring about their custom work and asking about the possibility of them casting up a few of my pieces (to keep my initial costs down I decided to farm out the casting process) I was amazed at what I was hearing.  Yes, a few of them did their own custom designs, but the idea of them doing them "by hand" was a quaint and ancient concept.

Nowadays, like so many things, the art of hand carving a piece of wax into a functional and beautiful design has been replaced by modern technology.  Have you seen those TV shows where automotive parts like wheels are made by a machine?  The ones where they simply enter a design into a computer, push the start button, and a few minutes later have a finished product?  Well, they are doing the same thing now with jewelry . . . rendering my hard earned skills obsolete.
Oh well – so be it.  Even if I could afford one of of those CNC machines, I would never consider using one – even on a rental basis.  There is something to be said for craftsmanship.  Will they someday invent a machine that can replicate Michelangelo’s work?  Let’s hope not.

What I’m offering here is jewelry done the old fashioned way.  The idea for these pieces came from my own imagination and their creation was accomplished with my own hands.  Sure, I use mechanical devices like polishing wheels affixed to electric motors to achieve the brilliant sterling silver shine, but these and the ones to follow will be done my way – the old way – the artistic way.

Each piece shown here is a one-of-a-kind creation.  No molds are used and each has its own personality and uniqueness.  They will never be duplicated.  They are each .925 Sterling, as marked on the back of each, along with my signature.
This one above, like the others, is one-of-a-kind.  This antiqued and highly polished pendant is an inch and three eights long and an inch and an eighth from the top of the bail to the bottom of the piece.  She weighs nearly 1/2 an ounce and is available for $80.00.
This one is two inches in length and weighs over 1/2 an ounce.  If you order soon it can be under your tree for a mere $110.00
This pendant, a fine brace of trout, comes in at over a half ounce in total weight.  The individual trout, all one-of-a-kind, measure, on average, one and seven eighths in length.  The entire piece is available at $140.00 and if you wish, the individaul trout are available for $45.00 each.
And finally let me stress that these are not "cookie-cutter" pieces, mass produced and taken from a well used mold.  Each was created by my own hands, at my jewelers bench from a piece of wax, a few carving tools, a few years of experience and a true love of the subject matter.