Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doing It Constantly

 Bracelets can take on many forms.
On Fridays  Things get bigger.
100 feet of flattened braided copper wire!
      My guidance counselor in high school insisted that if I wanted to be a jeweler I would have to become a watchmaker. He was wrong! My wrestling coach, he would go on to become the athletic director for the University Of  Iowa, had two absolute rules to live by. "Never ever back up" and "shoot"  Oh that college kid that came over on holidays to practice with us in the wrestling room, the guy that never stopped skipping rope, yeah, that kid. That was Dan Gable! I only mention that 'cause sometimes we are surrounded by greatness and we don't know it. I listened to them!
     I'll bet that right now you can't name a single famous watchmaker. Jacques Cousteau was not a watch maker, Where do you come up with this stuff? But you will know these two, your parents will know them and your grand parents. Richard Warren ....... was the son of a blacksmith-wagon maker and a watch maker. He hired an excellent watchmaker, Alvah Curtis ...... to repair any broken watches they sold. The two of them would create a retail revolution.
    A lot of mom and pop jewelery stores started from the watchmakers bench. The repair work paid the bills and then some. They took the excess and purchased all kinds of other things to sell. Perfume, razors, electric razors. new fangled toasters, clocks, all sorts of dustable things and jewelry, as well as watches. Those stores were amazing places of wonderment. The word entrepreneur hadn't been invented yet. They followed the "six at the bench,  two away from it" rule. I learned it from a watchmaker.  It is a key to surviving. Times change, I discovered I could hire watchmakers, then that I didn't need to mess with watches, at all. My bench is a jewelers bench.  Oh those two famous watch makers, your kids will only know of one. you'll know them by their last names.  Sears and Roebuck   What you do during your two hours a day is extremely important.
     In order to get to have your two hours a day you have to make the most of your six. It's a choice! 
Let's look at the ear rings they represent slightly over 1/2 of that weeks production. They are my lowest selling point item. they represent slightly more that 1/2 of my gross annual sales! First of all they are all very simple. This batch all started as various sizes of disks. I can wamp out several hundred disks in fairly short order. I use a system of thought here: I'll call it jewelry through unit construction. I need a lot of units. I might pre-texture several sheets of metal ( material units) and make those into disk units. Then I start playing. I love my job. But ear rings are a pain in the ;okuh  'cause you have to make two matching things...That's a lie! They have to share very similiar design elements but they don't have to be mirror images of each other. I saw a pair of ER yesteray that illustrate my point. Circular disks  on one it was stamped  " In One" it's mate said "Out The Other" 
     I have a tendency to make things complicated. I fight with that. I try to simplify, I'm getting better. I must confess that after a couple of weeks of making ear rings I can get pretty sick of them..After all you make two things but they are only counted as one thing, bummer! So I switch to pendants for a while.No No No you don't get to only make just 100 pendants, I have thought of that.
     The most frequently asked question by people that actually get to enter the studio part of my shop is. "Why is there a naked lady manikin in your bathroom?" Now the answer to that is this, "This is a jewelry store! We make jewelry here! We sell jewelry here! If I wanted to own a gallery or museum, I'd fill it with naked people statues and charge admission!"  My right hand person saw her and said, "99 to go?" My wife said, "I'm cutting your allowance!"  My mom brought her a hat! I never get bored. Enjoy

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