Hi there. I just had my last class from studio 174 last night. It was a really great experience. The teachers are really wonderful. I really appreciated that they let you in on a lot of information about starting your own business and home studio. In regards to the actual tactile experience of jewelry making, it seems that most of the tools have not been invented or developed in the past 50 years - most tools in fact have probably not been changed much from the original design. In a time when everything is similarly designed, made for speed and sleekness - it's really refreshing to have wooden and metal tools with major reusable and recyclable parts.

I had to share this particular tool - used for holding a piece with a stone setting in place while you pick and hammer your setting closed. You cannot use a clamp like in most cases for carpentry or metal work because that would mar the piece. Instead you use this clay like substance which is heated with a blowtorch to make it more pliable which can then be molded around your piece to hold it in place after it hardens (which takes less than a minute.) The "clay" can be used over and over again for a while, until it starts to burn intstead of becoming soft then you just add more of it to the stump! More what though? This "clay" I learned last night, after wondering what was all over the tables and sticking to the palms of my hands... is made of bug shells. yes. Our teacher showed us a large ziplock bag of beetle wings, just sitting there. The beetles are nyc cockaroach color, transluscent amber.
yum. Of course I was so obsessed with posting this shot to share I failed to take a picture of the finished piece. will do later...


bean 3:52 PM  

i love tools that havent been improved in a long time. the phrase 'this aint your grandpa's ___' says a lot about how far technology has come. but it's even cooler when you can say 'this aint my grandfather's ___ and that sucks, cuz they made them so much better then!' these old reliable tools speak to the ingenuousness and overall classiness of designers and engineers from olden days, who werent dumbed down by things like ipods, html codes, and air conditioning. they had to do it right, and they did.

Gina Kay 4:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gina Kay 4:20 PM  

I kinda like it that we get bug-wing-vices AND html all in one day!

Jeannie 6:57 PM  

i gotta say i appreciate development of industrial design but i hate that people forget to take inspiration from the past and see that sometimes the first way was the best way.

Gina Kay 11:32 AM  

melted-cockroach-wing-vice-for-jewelry ...nerd

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