Welcome to my world.
I am a goldsmith. That's pretty much it. Over the years my pursuit of the trade has driven me to become a designer, business-guy, salesman, teacher and now, website geek. All that so I can keep my hands dirty doing what I love. Oh, and pay the bills. Gotta pay the bills.
In your journey through this corner of my world it will, I hope, become clear that I like to make jewellery. Mostly rings, it seems, which is fortunate since that appears to be what sells. The majority of jewellery purchased the world over is worn on the fingers. Despite occasional efforts to the contrary, no one has yet sold the concept of the engagement pendant, or wedding earrings. For this I thank whoever is responsible.
Working on the rather limited canvas of a ring often taxes one's creativity. Add to this the problem of wearability and many of my more artistically inclined brethren (and sistern) have seen fit to, shall we say, stretch the limits a bit. Rings that span more than one joint of a finger, or more than one finger, just aren't going to work for my people.*
My people want to wear their jewellery without worry. They do housework, office-work, and exercise. They swim and dance and carry their own luggage. Their fingers are, on average, round, and fairly close together.
It is for these reasons, as well as several others, that my rings look, almost invariably, like rings. They are comfortable and strong and durable. Asked about my warranty, I generally respond that, short of complete destruction of the ring, it's covered. Stupid stuff, like totally ignoring wear or punching cinder blocks, maybe not.
This leads me to my next point: I have been asked whether I'm worried about my designs being "stolen", what with the rather open forum in which they're presented.
Well, quite frankly, I hardly consider these my designs. Most of the best were the result of a true collaboration between me and a customer. In some cases I was presented with a very specific idea or a picture and it was up to me to make the finished product work for that particular person. In many cases, the customer will peruse my collection of photos, picking out features of some, expressing disdain for others, thereby giving me guideline as to where the finished product should end up. Still others have pretty much left it up to me from concept to completion. Nothing is scarier than a blank sheet of paper between two people.
Having eased our minds about design theft, we can move into the more technical aspects of the business. These anyone can help themselves to. My techniques are simple in the extreme but anal to the point of insanity. I could also invest a lot of money in new equipment that would make the design and manufacturing process much more efficient, but my fear is that the technology will get in the way of the vision. Manufacturing jewellery untouched by human hands is not something I'm very interested in. To paraphrase one of my customers, who admitted that he could have bought an engagement ring from any store, or even online, "Where's the love?".
What I will provide is a product that is balanced and durable and finished to a degree which I consider to be unmatched. My stuff is meant to be looked at closely and, if I’ve done my work correctly, actually invites such inspection. My view of art, if art this be, is that it should be appreciable on several levels. The initial visual impact of a piece should draw the viewer in and, the closer the examination, the deeper the appreciation of the work that went into its conception and execution.