Hand-in-Hand: Tradition & Innovation?
Innovative technology now available in the jewellery industry can benefit jewellers very successfully when used alongside traditional hand-skills.
Laser Welding is a good example of this, when used in jewellery repair this Laser Welding techniques remove the need to take out and reset gemstones, traditionally done to avoid the risk of shattering them. The Laser uses pin point precision fusing technology to produce the same results as soldering, therefore it doesn’t have the same heat/temperature implications as traditional soldering methods. A Goldsmith still requires refined traditional hand-skills to complete a repair, but they can gain valuable time by using this new technology.
Even designing purely with the aim of using new technology – an exciting thought, there will still be a requirement to use traditional techniques, like Polishing to finish pieces created with some of the new technologies like 3D Laser Sintering.
Technology may be deemed a luxury investment initially, but due consideration should be given to the cost effectiveness of embracing innovation. Even taking a little time to fully understand a new process can be an effective aid to design or communication during outsourcing, if this is the preferred route.
I consider using jewellery trade experts to educate the next generation to be crucial for safeguarding the future of fine trade practises, whether traditionalists or innovators all their expertise is valuable because I believe embracing new technology doesn’t diminish traditional methods, there’s room for both.
Need to learn more about technology or traditional skills?
- Email me to ask about the possibilities of a bespoke 1-day course, to help with your creative/professional development.
Good luck with your creative endeavours,
-Founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company
-Jeweller / Silversmith
-Creative Business Development Consultant
Email Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
Dawn Meaden-Johnson has over 30 years’ experience working in customer facing Creative and Commercial Industries and in Further Education, including at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery for 10 years, during which time she has worked extensively with national and international clients.
Dawn is a creative business development consultant and the founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company which provides national one-to-one practical tuition for Jewellers and Silversmiths and business enterprise skills training and mentoring for young Jewellers in the West Midlands.
A Silversmith graduate of Birmingham City University School of Jewellery, Dawn still creates jewellery under the brand Dawnstorm.co.uk which specialises in limited edition anodised aluminium jewellery combined with silver.