I confess to having been so busy lately that I've been unable to get much written. The need to both sell and make the custom jewelry that I do is a time consuming process and I find myself with less and less time these days to get it all done (not to mention that I have to keep up on the blogging). I feel fortunate to have as much business as I do right now. Most of the jewelers I know are so unhappy about business right now. Current jokes of the trade: Have you read the new book about how to open a jewelry store? It starts with Chapter 11. And: Down 10% is the new up.
However while I like to know that I can do what I like to do and make a living from it, the true joy of my job comes about for other reasons. Obviously I get some kick from the process itself, not just the creative process but, more importantly the actual making of the pieces. One of the reasons I have always preferred to hand build pieces instead of cast them is that I really like to actually MAKE jewelry. I enjoy the bending, forging, soldering, chasing and all of the other processes involved. I particularly like it when I can isolate myself in the workshop, crank up my tunes, have a little nip of my favorite tequila, and just bang away at everything. There is nothing quite like the kick of finishing up a piece and looking at the final result of hours of work and saying, gee that really looks nice. Of course, every once in awhile, you get to that end point and say to yourself, now what the heck was I thinking when I came up with this idea?, but usually it's the other way around.
More importantly, however (at least to me) is knowing the role that these pieces I create play in so many people's lives. Here I am creating pieces that stand for so much to people, a declaration of love (usually), a celebration of an important occasion (anniversaries, new jobs), or even of sad ones (memorializing those who have passed). Every day that someone wears one of my pieces they remember that they got that piece from me (well usually) and they remember what it represents to them. We have had a lot of people wear our engagement rings but until recently we had never had the opportunity to have a proposal in the store itself. Now admittedly, in this recent event, the proposal had actually already been made, but it was remade and celebrated in the store itself. The pictures here are of the two fiancees and three of their friends who came in to help it all happen. What a great feeling to know that I've been a part of so much happiness in so many people's lives.