Do you know how many jewelers it takes to change a light bulb?
It takes three!
One to change the light bulb, and two to hold up a screen so that nobody sees the technique used.
Sadly, that joke too closely represents much of our industry. Many master craftsmen go through their careers cautiously guarding their "Trade Secrets" afraid the "competition" would get a leg up on them if they shared their knowledge. As a result, the industry has suffered with far too few skilled workers with the knowledge to perfect their craft.
When I started in this industry in the mid 70’s I worked by myself in the shop of a retail store. On occasion, the storeowner would call me downstairs to the store and explain to me that my work was not up to his standards. Not being a bench jeweler himself, he could not explain to me how to improve my work, but he would show me a piece of jewelry from the case and show me what he expected. He then told me to go back up to the shop and figure out how to make my work look like that jewelry. I searched for books and articles, anything that would teach me what I wanted to learn. However, few could be found.
In our own small way, we hope to help change this situation with BENCH magazine. Here you will find articles from bench jewelers willing to share their abundant knowledge with you, and our own "Trade Secrets" section where you can learn tricks of the trade from other jewelers and share your tips with jewelers around the world.
Written BY Jewelers FOR Jewelers
All articles in BENCH magazine are written by working jewelers who are masters of their craft. So many articles in industry publications are written by professional writers, who don’t have an understanding of jewelry repair or custom jewelry manufacturing. We have worked hard to bring you information from jewelers who not only possess excellent bench skills, but also possess the skill to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and explain in a clear, understandable manner the procedures they perform.
It is my prayer that you not only enjoy reading BENCH magazine, but that you will learn valuable information to increase you abilities, improve the quality of your work, and make your job easier and more enjoyable.
Brad Simon CMBJ, CMP
Publisher / Editor BENCH Magazine