Conversation by The Workbench

Wednesday, 3 pm

Silvio was about to say a few words regarding a new ring he started yesterday, when two charming ladies walked in. It is difficult to leave the workbench in the midst of detailed and laborious wax carving. Left to himself, he might not have taken a break for a long time. This provided a perfect and invigorating interruption.

Such encounters, when someone walks in and strikes a lively conversation about gems, gold, and jewelry in general, are as much the fuel of inspiration as the art itself. In fact, these encounters often remind the craftsman of the value of his purpose. Long hours at the workbench are isolating.

Let’s listen in…

silvio - 0612

Ladies, upon entering the building: “I’m going straight for the gold!!”

Silvio: “I make most of the jewelry right here.”

Ladies: “Yes. We were here last year. You had a beautiful brown diamond ring with a delicate setting then. I have been dreaming about it ever since.”

Silvio: “I think I know which one you mean. It was sold, but I think it’s in the photo gallery on my website.”

Ladies: “I should bring you some of my jewelry to refurbish. It would be nice to restore jewelry I could pass down. Do you do that?”

Silvio: “Yes. I do. Many jewelers don’t really want to recycle because it’s a lot of work. For example, with gold, the lower the karats, the harder it is to work with. But I do it a lot. It’s a good value for customers.”

Ladies: “Even this, my wedding band, probably will need to be looked at some day. It’s getting thin. Is it too thin?”

Silvio: “No. It’s still fine, but when they get really thin they can actually cut your finger if you get caught.”

Ladies: “It’s made of rose gold, isn’t it?”

Silvio: “Let me see. No. It’s yellow gold. For a long time jewelers made their own gold mix with copper or silver. This one must have more copper in it. Today most shops buy pre-mixed gold, so they don’t have control over this. If you come every year, maybe next time you can bring pieces to recycle.”

Ladies: “Actually, we’re not that far. We’re from Essex Junction. We’re dangerously close!” Laughing. “Do you mind if I ask if you do well here?”

Silvio: “Not at all. We came here in 2008, just after the crash, so it’s been an uphill battle of sorts. But with time we are getting a lot of word of mouth and very loyal customers. This community and the lifestyle we have here definitely made it worth the move. This is very important to us. And it’s important to work hard at it. Some of my work is expensive. When you’re looking at three days of work for a custom piece, that’s an investment for someone. It has to be worth it for them.”

Ladies: “What are the stones in this ring?”

Silvio: “Garnets.” He pauses. “The fire in those garnets is amazing.”

Ladies: “And this? Is it a vintage piece?”

Silvio: “Yes. It’s from the 1880’s. The stone is beautiful, isn’t it? And look at that filigree work and the old-mine cut diamonds!”

The conversation lingers on, very pleasantly, offering a reprieve from the workbench, but also providing a moment for Silvio to re-acquaint himself with his own display of jewelry, the beauty of each stone, the history of each piece and his own journey.

Ladies: “Thank you so much for your time.”

Silvio: “I hope to see you before next year!”

Ladies: “Ha! Ha! Yes. We will have to come back before then.”

Silvio: “You might enjoy the Festival of The Arts. It’s an event that takes place every year, right here on the street. It’s on August 10.” He writes it down for them.

They move toward the door. It was a delightful encounter; one that brightened the day and cleared the mind. One lady to the other: “If you could pick a ring, which one would it be?”

Next, on the Ornament Studio Blog: The June Birthstone.

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About PS MacMurray

Paschal'Simon MacMurray, the scribe, specializes in providing a no nonsense Facebook and Blog presence for small business owners who want quality without breaking the bank. PS MacMurray, the artisan, creates art on a whim using fabric, paper, beads, twine and wire. View all posts by PS MacMurray

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