Workbench Journal – Tricks of The Trade

Wednesday, 3 PM

It is a gorgeous afternoon, with clear blue sky as far as the eye can see and temperatures above 65°.  Silvio usually steps out for a short walk a couple of times a day, to rest his eyes and mind from the bench, but today, somehow, one thing led to another and much of his time was spent focusing on meticulous work.

We thought we’d take a moment to explore some of the questions visitors ask most often. At first, Silvio’s tired mind could not help but resort to his usual playfulness. “The question I am asked most often? Let me think? Ha! Yes… Where are you from?”

After a while, however, he suggested it might be interesting to reveal a little trade secret.

With technology being what it is today, it is a wonder that trades as old as the world often retain traditional practices that use not a single modern tool, but rather the jeweler’s instinct. One such practice is the manner in which he can determine if a stone is loose in its setting. Even under a magnifying glass, a visual assessment will not necessarily reveal that something is amiss. Here is the method Silvio shared with us today:

Hold the piece of jewelry between your thumb and index so that you are not touching the setting itself. Bring it to your best ear. With one finger from your other hand, repeatedly tap the setting. If the stone is loose, you will hear a faint, yet distinctive rattling.

silvio - 1009 - workbench

Meanwhile, on the workbench… Several contract projects for The Golden Eye, in Santa Fe, including the new ring Silvio is currently carving out of wax. “Quite a few people have brought in jewelry they want me to recycle and redesign. I am also going to make another Mother’s Ring. I am working on sketches and can’t wait to get started on these,” explains Silvio.

It is 5 pm. He finally decides to call it a day and walk in the sun for a while.

More Workbench Journal Articles

Another Trade Secret


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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