Saturday, 3:30 pm
While Heritage WinterFest occupies town residents and visitors with great outdoor fun at Smugglers Notch and Sterling Ridge Resorts, the jeweler sits at his bench, head bent and eyes focused on the intricate piece that takes shape at the bench, moment by moment.
There was a lot of exhilaration today, for those who took part in the activities of the weekend as well as simply because the sun shone brightly. The bone-chilling cold did not offend us today. The bright sky and festive atmosphere kept us warm.
For the jeweler, who painstakingly shapes metals and assembles gems and curves into the perfect expression of the envisioned design, there is much exhilaration as well. This is his playground. As with outdoor games, he prepares for this mentally and then pours all his attention into the moment. And when a piece comes together, it is as though a great mountaintop has been reached. The jeweler braves the elements.
Today, Silvio completes work on a bracelet. “The customer brought me three old rings and a bracelet to re-purpose into one bracelet. This also included two diamonds and five aquamarines,” explains Silvio. “It will be a 14 karat gold and sterling silver bracelet.”
The door bells chime. A customer on her way home from work at Smuggs picking up a repair. Silvio immediately retrieves a small envelope, announcing, “This is done. I repaired the hinge.” They chat about Silvio’s jewelry-making workshop for a moment.
“I also redesigned a ring for someone else,” he continues a few moments later, his eyes already intent on the bench as he begins to saw a piece off a thin rod of gold.
He pauses to bring up photos on his phone. “See here, in the middle of the shank? You can see where I cut the bottom half. It was very thin. I rebuilt it. That line is no longer visible now.”
“It also had a four-prong setting. I removed the prongs and made a bezel instead. It is a gorgeous ring. Look at the floral design on each side of the setting. Jewelry can be rebuilt to make it stronger and also to give it new character.”
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