Tag Archives: Metalsmithing

If it ain’t Broke?


Firstly an apology to all my faithful blogging friends, an apology for being so delinquent is blogging! I promise I will do better in the coming year (please God)!

Some of you may remember that when I was working as a Management & Training Consultant I was always preaching about how change for the better is always good for business. And one of the books I remember reading was entitled ‘If it ain’t broke, break it’. Which basically meant that one shouldn’t take for granted that because things are going swimmingly at the moment, it doesn’t mean they will be the same this time (say) next year. ย And, that we should always be prepared to re-visit our business plan and our marketing plan, and review all the major areas of the business such as:

  • Financial control
  • Overheads
  • Suppliers
  • Sales targets (must be S.M.A.R.T)
  • Customer service & management

So, being one who does practice what he preaches I looked inward and wasn’t very happy with what I saw. The competition in my chosen field of Wildlife Photography was such – due to the technological advancement of digital cameras – that every body and his dog was becoming a wildlife and nature photographer. All this was doing to me was creating stress which I did not want, and I had stopped enjoying going out with may camera and seeking special shots. ย So I took the big step and decided to CHANGE.

The change I made was to do something I had thought about for about 12 months. And that was to learn to become a working metalsmith, a Jeweller, someone who can design pieces and the make them at a standard that would be acceptable within the industry. There is of course a Bona Fide entrance to the craft which requires something like a 5 year apprenticeship, but obviously being too old for this I started to investigate other ways of learning.

I was very lucky because I actually found a working Jeweller who actually taught the craft and was living and working in Wales, not more than 20 miles from where I live. His name is Andrew Berry and his boutique working jewellery store is in the beautiful Welsh valley town of Ystrad Mynach. Check out Andrew Berry.ย ย If any of you are interested in learning a little more about the learning process, let me know and I will give the link to Andrew’s teaching site.

So, there we are a major change and I have found a new passion. I have partially converted my old photographic studio into a proper workshop/studio. There is a lot more to do to get it right, but it’s working and, I have actually started making sales! Only small ones, but enough to give me confidence in my work and confirmation that I must be doing something right!

Solid silver snake ring.
Solid silver snake ring.
Brass teardrop pendant
Brass teardrop pendant
Sterling silver ring with 9ct gold band.
Sterling silver ring with 9ct gold band.
Silver Plate Spoon Ring

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Silver Pendant
A Solid silver witches heart pendant