I am a self-taught jeweler. Before deciding to enter this career I knew nothing about jewelry making or the jewelry industry. I didn’t know what silversmithing or lost wax casting was. I didn’t know about precious gemstones, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between a cabochon and a faceted stone.The complexities of jewelry were entirely lost on me. It was something I wore and loved, but beyond that I honestly hadn’t considered much.
Everything I know has been learned slowly and laboriously over the last six years. In fact, it was only recently that I began referring to myself as a jeweler. Not someone who makes jewelry, but a jeweler. The distinction may feel small, but for a long time I felt like I wasn’t ready for that title. I didn’t know enough yet. I hadn’t gained all the skills. Imposter syndrome at its finest. I still don’t know everything or have all the skills, not even close, but I have come to understand that I will learn. In that truth I feel confident. Over time I will acquire more knowledge and more skills like I have been doing all these years.
Doorways into new subjects and new areas of expertise continue to open as I expand my knowledge of this craft. I could nerd out about jewelry with you all day, and if you ever catch me on a chatty day, I totally will. One skill flows into the next, and it feels like an endless well of new techniques and understanding.
I am always learning, and I thought it would be fun to share as I go. Consider this an introduction into a larger multipart series about my experiences with jewelry making and the jewelry industry as a whole. Title is in the works, but if you have any ideas please let me know. Maybe Secrets of the Bench or A Jeweler’s Journal? It’s a work in progress. I want to dive into all the ways that the jewelry you wear each and every day comes to life; from raw metals and gemstones to finished necklace, ring, or earrings and all of the steps in between. I’ll share resources and facts as well as my own thoughts and opinions, ones that you can take or leave and are always welcomed to chime in with your own thoughts.
Next up: What do you know about diamonds?