I am having the hardest time with this word...goldsmith!

I recently read ...(twice actually, in different publication) that you can be a goldsmith even if you don't use gold. (Art Jewelry magazine, January 2010 issue, page 20) What????????????????????? That is crazy. I know a silversmith works with large silver pieces...bowls, tea sets and decorative items and so on. Since I only work with gold a bit and silver is a big part of my work... I don't really consider myself a goldsmith.
Also...when I googeled(sp?) it...an on-line dictionary ( goldsmiths.askdefine.com) defined a goldsmith as follows: A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals, usually in modern times to make jewelry. Historically goldsmiths have also made flatware, platters, goblets, decorative and serviceable utensils, and ceremonial or religious items, but the rising prices of precious metals have curtailed the making of such items to a large degree. Goldsmiths must be skilled in forming metal through filing, soldering, sawing, forging, casting, and polishing metal. The reason this is such an important question is because I am spending ample time and energy on re-vamping my business look (branding) and all. I have always put the word "metalsmith" on my cards. So now what do I put on my cards??? What do you do...what do you call yourself?

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Comment by 2Roses on December 15, 2009 at 5:15pm
We've recently seem some discussion about the difference between "art jeweler" and "conceptual jeweler". Then you get creative people like Gabriel Craig who blow that discussion out of the water. Here is the dilemma. Many of our ilk don't use jewels, don't work in metals, and create objects that cannot be worn. We sometimes work in wood, but no one is calling us carpenters. Are we simply artists?
Comment by Aimee A. Domash on December 8, 2009 at 9:30am
Nice to hear from you both. Seems like there needs to be a new term to describe the multi-metal/media small scale jewelry movement. You are right, I guess I am asking a marketing question. Vacillating on this...need to think about it more. Thanks for your thoughts.
Comment by 2Roses on December 7, 2009 at 11:56pm
We feel your angst, Aimee. Since we consider all materials and mediums fair game for our artistic expression, we usually refer to ourselves as artists. "Metalsmith" is simply too confining. We are just as apt to use a computer as a piece of metal, or create a performance piece, sometimes using jewelry, sometimes not. The traditional names for various disciplines ie goldsmith, silversmith, metalsmith, seem to have diminishing relevance as a defining title for the studio artist/jeweler/metasmith/etc.
Of course, this is an academic discussion. You posed a marketing question. The answer is - how do you want to be perceived by your customers? What words do THEY use to express those qualities? Use those words for your branding.

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