Friday, June 28, 2013
Some people are surprised over the range of the type of work I do. Even within what I have out in the store I do cover a fairly wide swath of types of work. Admittedly much of my work is easily identifiable as coming from me, but with custom work, I can pretty much take on any job (although if you're looking for a plain Tiffany style setting I'll probably send you elsewhere as I'll just charge too much to do something so readily available everywhere). As I mention in the title to the post I work near that fine higher education institution MIT. Over the years this has led to any number of unusual and interesting jobs.
One of them started with a phone call we got late on a Thursday asking if we could solder platinum. I said of course and the guy proceeded to tell me that he had a platinum piece that needed a precise soldering job, that it had to be done right away, that it was going up into space shortly and that he couldn't tell me what exactly we were working on (for security reasons, not because he didn't know). Now how could I turn down something like that? I love space and all that has to do with it, it wasn't going to be the usual "can you fix my platinum ring" job and we could only guess at what we were actually working on. To this day I have no idea what it was for. But we did get the job done for them by their Saturday deadline.
Another time we got a young guy in who was a graduate student at MIT and his thesis was on how people perceived urban landscapes. He had built a contraption that he wanted to wear over his head that had a mechanism that would cover his right eye when he took a step with his left foot and cover his left eye when he took a step with his right foot. Again, I wasn't really clear what he was trying to achieve, but I told him I would see what I could come up with. For this one I sat down and brainstormed with a very old and dear friend of mine (who happens to be an extraordinary bench jeweler) and we came up with the idea of using the loupes that we wear to see things close up. We were able to attach his contraption to a loupe without the lens on it and it allowed him to move it up and down as he wanted to in front of his face. Unfortunately he never came back and told us if his thesis was accepted!
So the picture above is of a recently completed pair of wedding bands. We had to use CAD/CAM to do these because the customer wanted "logic gates" engraved all around the bands. Unfortunately you can't truly see how they change as they go around the ring but you can get an idea of what they look like from the picture. What are logic gates, some of you might ask? I haven't got the foggiest idea, although I'm sure I could Google it and find out but I think I'll leave that up to those of you who would like to know. These bands were done in platinum.
But on the bottom here are some earrings that I just put out that show the other extreme of my work range. They are 22k and 18k yellow and white gold with freshwater pearls and carved labradorite faces. I thought they made a nice juxtaposition against the interesting, yet completely different bands above!