Been fighting a cold this past week and decided to tackle a largish piece of Kunzite that I had sitting a drawer for a long time. In my quest to be a "wholistic" jeweller (couldn't think of a better adjective, sorry!) it is only natural for me to learn new skills to complement my bonne métier, if you like. Stone carving is a skills that I have taken to, these past few months, like a duck to water. It has also taught me a bit about what is actually beautiful. A simple chunk of rough mineral has a beauty all of its own.
Most people seek out perfection in favour of beauty. Sure, you will get perfection in a computer designed, 3D printed article, that is what that technology is all about. I am not so sure that this is the last word, because whilst the creative process can be satisfied, made easier and time-saving via CAD software and 3D printers, it doesn’t really mean squat as far as the manual dexterity, cunning and skill of one’s very own paws! Whilst I have been known to have used the services of a CAD expert in one or two particular pieces, this is strictly my 1%. Ninety-nine percent of my pieces are handcrafted from scratch, and now I can say that a portion of my gem components are handcrafted by me, too.
For years now, I have toyed with the idea of hand-carving: creating something beautiful; in my case, from a rough chunk of mineral. This blends seamlessly with my original notion of being a true artisan. We live in a world now where technology does so much for us that the handcrafting skills are fast becoming a thing of legend.
I have pressed my nose against the glass cases of museums the world over and have swooned in near Stendhal Syndrome at the beauty and amazing creativity of artisans of past centuries. These works are by no means “perfect” in the modern sense of the word … cracks, fissures, off components, slightly off measurements etc can be spotted by the highly trained eye. But that doesn’t matter to me and shouldn’t matter to others, either. The finished product and the overall look is of incredible beauty and poetry and that is what I am, and have always been, seeking to create. In my world, THIS is what handcrafting is all about.