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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Know Your Jeweler

Tear drop shaped pendant with blue stone and diamonds
18k yellow gold, blue tourmaline and diamonds
I'm not sure I've gone this long between writing posts before.  I'm not sure what happened.  I must be distracted with working.

Last week I fielded a call from a woman wanting to know if I set stones.  I answered in the affirmative but then asked what exactly she needed.  She told me that a "craftsperson" was making a ring for her but didn't know how to set the stone.  So the craftsperson told the woman she would give her a couple of stones that she could take to someone else and they could pick out the best one that would work in the setting and they could set it.  Am I the only one to see something wrong with this scenario?  How can you even agree to take on a job if you aren't capable of actually finishing it?  Of course the other question is why would the customer commission someone to do something they weren't even capable of?

This goes back to a topic I've discussed in the past.  You really need to know who you're working with when commissioning jewelry pieces.  If the person isn't able to show you work consistent in the technical level you want in your piece, then they aren't a good fit for you.  If their style isn't something you like, they aren't a good fit for you (although there are some people like me who, while having a particular look that is representative of their work, are also capable of producing pretty much anything).  And if you aren't able to communicate effectively with them, they aren't the right person for you.  Frankly I know, and have known for quite some time, that I'm not going to be able to please every person that walks in my shop.  Either my look isn't good for them, or the communication level isn't right, or they just don't feel comfortable working with me and these things are fine. I would much rather see someone working with someone who they are completely comfortable with than struggling to work with someone they aren't comfortable with.

The holidays are coming and I need to remind people of a few things.  First of all don't look at your credit card statements on line in the middle of the month. It's possible to ruin any surprises your significant other may have in store for you. Secondly (and this is mostly for the women out there), if there is something you really, really want this year, it's always best to be direct with your husbands.  Men are notoriously unable to fathom (for a variety of reasons) what it is you want unless you actually tell them.  Often it is even necessary to drag them into your favorite shop and say: "See, I like that and that!"  Third I hope that everyone has a very happy and pleasant Thanksgiving.  Do yourselves a favor and spend it at home with your family, not out shopping at the plethora of large chain stores that have now decided it is no longer a real holiday.
Moon shaped and star shaped pair of earrings with orange stones
18k palladium white gold, orange sapphire earrings
The photo at the top is a pendant I made up for my wife using a blue tourmaline and diamonds.  The photo at the bottom is a new pair of earrings I just made up in 18k palladium white gold with orange sapphires (from the new batch I got from my new German source previously mentioned). 

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