By: Martin Taber
“From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”
–John F. Kennedy, paraphrasing Luke 12:48
Why is it we do what we do? Certainly there are easier ways of succeeding as entrepreneurs. For those seeking profit the jewelry craft arts are hardly the ideal. And from the artistic perspective jewelers lack much of the freedom associated with many of the other arts – painting, sculpting, music. We generally have to adhere in greater degree to a functionality bounded and communicated to us by a highly competitive and demanding marketplace.
For me it is the joy of exploring my craft that keeps me grounded. The limitations of my materials, my techniques, and my creativity are constantly being stretched and remolded by my mind and my hands. Likewise, my expression of my business as a whole requires a constant balancing act of competing interests that I find oddly compelling. Ultimately, there is an integrity of purpose in helping to sustain a hand crafted world that brings me peace of mind in the present, a deep appreciation of the past, and great hope for the future.
I try never to take these opportunities for creative expression for granted. Nor can I forget the responsibilities I feel for the integrity behind each piece I create. I often refer to what I do as sculpting in miniature. And while the work I create is small I am constantly reminded by the customers I work hand-in-hand with that the meaning associated with my jewelry can be GREAT and lasting.
So when the substance of the thing itself and the meaning behind it fall into stark contradiction and are no longer unified I have to ask myself, “How do I return to a place of integrity?”
Over the past several years it has become increasingly difficult for me to reconcile what I know about the conditions in which gold and other precious metals are acquired with the integrity my business has always laid claim to..... Read more