As a formerly trained artist/craftsman I sort of sold my soul to seek a living in the commercial realm of jewelry manufacturing- It is an awesome industry filled with talent, genius and a large number of dirt bags to say the least.

I feel blessed as I have always been allowed to express my opinions on purity in design, conceptual constructivism and "real" high craft craftsmanship.

Just the other day I engaged in a pretty benign conversation on another board focused on the retail jeweler industry- We where discussing the best way to install a spring guard into a ladies ring to support her finger after her ring was sized up to overcome some arthritis that had sprung up... I expressed the need for a rolling mill to temper and flatten the strip of gold properly.. I was quite surprised to be somewhat mocked (by an industry profit Guru) because that would take too much time. I should stock the wire I need and not worry about the temper as it would take too much time and be too expensive. After I pulled my face out of my cornflakes I sat at the computer wondering what the heck happened to the Old School. I sat and watched purists and profiteers debate this all afternoon.

At that moment I realized that I had lost my way, I have been swimming with the sharks in a very small creative pond. Each one that brushed up against me has removed a part of my creative exoskeleton. The more and more I became indoctrinated the less I would think for myself; and now most of my work is pedestrian trade work.... Pays the bills (almost) but leaves the soul thirsting for more.

Tell me what would be your best advice. How do I turn around and find the proverbial breadcrumbs that I hope i dropped behind me.

I am excited as I dream more frequently about creating. I am scared about just up and walking out of a career spanning 20 years. How can I exorcise the bad and not lose all the good I have learned along the way..... Thanks for listening

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Comment by Brigitte Martin on November 25, 2009 at 6:12am
I second the 2Roses. This doesn't have to be mutually exclusive, especially when one side is paying most of the bills. My humble suggestion would be to get more involved in and with the creative community you like :-) and then more opportunities will come your way as well. From what I have seen your craftsmanship is superb !

Pittsburgh Metals is on the horizon ... and come by the gallery Dec 5 for the Barbie show (Margaux Lange), there will be plenty of "us" there congregating. Don't give up. Happy Thanksgiving !
Comment by 2Roses on November 25, 2009 at 12:55am
When faced with a choice between two paths... take both.

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