Jennifer Dawes - Dawes Design

Jennifer Dawes - Dawes Design

"I love a lot of things, and one of them has always been metalsmithing. Ever since I first learned how to work with it, I knew that's what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have experimented with just about every aspect of metal, from working in construction to goldsmithing, and the smaller the work got, the more intimate, refined, and rewarding it got."
Charlie Herner, Jeremy Dunn - The Rephinery

Charlie Herner, Jeremy Dunn - The Rephinery

Jewelry manufacturing is a hands-on process that holds immense appeal to us as craftsmen. The ability to develop and create new pieces each week keeps the tasks on hand feeling fresh and gives us valuable insight to the subtle nuances of the trade. Our craft grants us the personal gratification of increasing our skills and knowledge while keeping us thirsty for further discovery.
Julie Romanenko - Just Jules

Julie Romanenko - Just Jules

"I think the best part of being a bench jeweler is the ability to bring an idea to life. I feel so blessed to have found this career, where at the end of a productive day, I have something tangible to show for my efforts. It makes me feel sorry for the pencil pushers of the world!"

Blue Chalcedony Ring

This ring, designed and made by Rick Hamilton (follow on Instagram here), was created using several techniques. The gem was hand cut by Joe Jelks from blue chalcedony rough. The bezel was fabricated from 18k yellow gold flat wire stock. The ring shank was designed in ArtCAM, cut in wax on a milling machine, and then cast in 18k yellow gold.

Rick lives and works on Martha's Vineyard, after training and working at a Rhode Island jewelry factory, where he designed, made samples, and did white metal model-making. His work today is a mixture of custom jewelry, wholesale inventory, repairs, and model-making services for other designers and jewelers. He works in high karat gold, platinum, palladium, and a wide variety of gemstones. Rick's career is one example of a career path that can take a jeweler from corporate/factory jewelry making to independent jewelry design and  bench work.

But back to this amazing picture. So many steps go into making a beautiful piece of jewelry. This ring is a perfect example of the artisanship that goes into making something memorable and lasting.

Alexis Kletjian - On Savoring the Process

My new policy on jewelry is: it's ready when it's ready.

I will not rush anything and compromise the final piece. I am a firm believer in the best things are the ones you wait for ... the pieces that are savored at the bench, proudly polished, and carefully presented.

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Joel Conrad - On Beginnings and Mentoring

Joel Conrad Diamond Ring

I'm not sure where to begin. I think I've done just about everything in my 24-year history. 

It all started for me as a kid, struggling to figure out what to do when I grew up. I worked at a company that manufactured men's die-struck jewelry. I could only clean so many bathrooms and take out so much garbage before the master jeweler asked me if I wanted to be a jeweler.

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Wade Designs - Bench Shots

Wade Designs in North Carolina provides custom design services in their retail store and online. They are a great model of how to do custom jewelry at scale, and John Wade's design vision is unique and playful. Anyway, if you want to be a custom jeweler and make exciting new jewelry designs every day, this is what your shop might look like!

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Lisa Des Camps

I have always loved jewelry -both collecting it and making it. When I was a teenager, I apprenticed every summer with the metalsmith in the town where I grew up. I learned all the basics of metalsmithing: how to use tools to bend and shape and manipulate metal, how to use a torch, how to file and saw. I was almost to the point of learning to set stones when I realized that I had to go get a “real” job in order to feed myself.

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Self Taught and Loving It

Jake Brunner ImageJake Brunner is 24 years old, and two years ago he started teaching himself to be a silversmith. One of the things he's discovered is that when you are self-taught, you come up with some pretty unique solutions because you have to figure things out! He's enjoying the independence, the creativity, and the self-expression of the work. We really dig his website and his vision. Learn more about Jake at his website, Leaf and Badger (www.leafandbadger.com).

Green Lake Jewelry Works

DSC 8535There is a place in Seattle where every piece of jewelry you make would be custom. Can you imagine that career? 100% creative, focused on craftsmanship, figuring out just the right thing for each individual. Here are some images from the Green Lake Jewelry Works shop. Enjoy!

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