The New Age Jeweler
I'd like to share my thoughts and understanding of this "new-age-jeweler". As I have been told, "We design on the computer, send it off to a casting company, and they supply us with a finished product. Sometimes, we set the gems and sometimes they do it for us." So, my question is when did cutting and pasting on a computer become a specialty? Is this the new age of jewelry design?
So basically, as I understand it, the new age jeweler cuts and pastes on a computer screen from thousands of parts (their words and not mine) to create that one-of-a-kind piece for their client. I had to ask: "Where does the designing aspect come into hand, after all, you do claim yourself as a custom designer?"
I was originally trained in interior and architectural design. One of my mentors, department head of the design area from Syracuse University, marked my assignments with red so much that in the beginning one could barely see the original blueprints. But I learned, painfully, as to how things were supposed to be done. Ever since doing things the right way seems to be ingrained in my soul.
Several years ago, I chose to align my love of interior and architectural design with my passion of jewelry design. I used the fundamental values and precision of architectural styles to create the jewelry I had envisioned. I give most of the credit to my antique drawing table from which all my inspiration has been derived. With her glorious wood top and old cast iron legs, we are like one and her unique beauty centers me while I am sketching new designs. She is truly beautiful and she reminds me of the days in architecture and that doing things the right way, no matter how difficult that may be, is always the best way. I have been told that I am a stubborn SOB when it comes to a few things, but I refuse to sacrifice the simplistic values that have been a pillar of strength and direction throughout my lifetime.
So I design on the table. I sketch and I draw based purely on my perceptions of the client. I spend a great deal of time getting to know the client's visions and ideas so I can adequately capture enough to bring the piece to fruition. I feel that the importance of human interaction and the ability to express such has been lost. I believe our society has become so immediate and computer reliant that we have lost the art of appreciating and understanding the importance of the client and the has been completely absent from good design. Most commercial jewelry stores tell us what we should like rather than providing the client with a true designer whose focus is actually on the client!
I will never settle for this idea of the "New-Age-Jeweler" being explained as such. I find the whole idea appalling. And I find the whole idea of randomly picked parts from a menu on a computer screen to be quite a dishonor to true designers.