How it started: The Modern Toolsmith
I've been helping my wife for years, and I've always been handy. I'm a Technologist by trade, and hold an IPC Class 3 in soldering electronics (basically I'm certified to work on the tiniest electronics that people need to be failproof, like heart monitoring systems, etc) so it was a natural sideways movement into helping my wife with the jewellery. My hobby when we met was wood working, so I started by building all of her displays for her art shows, and once things got serious and she moved her jewellery studio into my place, well, it wasn't long before the "Hey I can do this too" moment happened. We started small; she showed me the differences between soldering electronics and soldering jewellery, and she taught me the other major basics like piercing, sanding and polishing. We more or less left it at that - I designed a few pieces of jewellery (which sold to boot!) - but between my "real" job and her full time making, we didn't have a lot of time to make new stuff together. Plus our jewellery studio is on the tiny size. Angela calls it "compact and cozy" which is just a nice way of saying "cramped" and "too small for two people". Anyways, after being exposed to the jewellery world for a while, and being involved in the challenges that Angela faces, she made this comment about engraving using burrs, and I was all like “well, why don’t you just stamp it?” and she basically told me that nice stamps don’t exist, and if they do, they’re all made in the US and getting them to Canada between the shipping and the exchange rate is a tad on the pricey side. Nope, it was better just to engrave it with a burr. Well, wasn’t that statement just the beginning. Being the guy that I am, and wanting to know how everything is done, I took it on myself to take up stamp making. It wasn’t too far a stretch from what I already do, make things for other makers, and I got to broaden my horizons with some new skills along the way. I’m enjoying the process of making tools knowing that other makers will use them as the building blocks in their own creative processes, and I’m excited to see the direction people will go using them in their own work. People’s creativity is endless and I’m happy to be a part of it.
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