Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Its a new day!!!!! and, Its a matter of fineness.

Welcome to my new blog.
Pardon any construction dust and debris in this newly assembled theater.
I will sweep it up soon.   Promise.
Started in the interest of exploring Fine Lapidary and the items made in the Noble Metals of this beautiful Planet I have been privileged to work with.
 I have been immersed in these two rivers as they have flowed through my life for years and years.
Their association has enriched me deeply and helped form who I am.
Conversely the other Paths I have walked have added immensely to the inspiration I have to apply to my creations and understanding how these materials have played a role in my life.
It will be both fun and adventuresome to share my views in this very public journal, of the results of that very enriching experience .

Thanks for taking a gander at my ramblings.
A matter of fineness.
On doing better and striving for excellence.

I enjoy a unique role in working with metal and stone.
I never had to do it. I always did it out of desire. Passion if you will.
Also subject to lazy slacker attitude...but that's another entry for another day.
Today we will focus on the passion that does ignite.
Some came from the desire to tinker as well. And that stemmed from my father who enjoyed just about everything mechanical. He and I differed as I became more focused in creating specifics and abandoned many of the fringe interests I had.
That "putting away childish things" probably applies somewhat.
But what made me not have that "good enough" attitude began by being self taught, combined with that lack of need to "get it done, get it out" that is taught in schools.
As I acquired skills and interests in techniques untried beckoned I often questioned where to stop.
Where overworking would result in failure versus where fixing the flaw in the piece took two more hours. And knowing that difference.
Experience forged those exact answers. But the framework was set long before that. Inputs from mentors that I observed.
Quietly absorbed.
Too shy to jump on board their actual tutelage, if even possible, some being long passed from this Earth and whose work I could only see in museums and books.
I was lucky enough to SEE what they were about. Where they didn't stop till it was right.
And in the case of the living legends I was in proximity to understand the day to day mindset of
striving for the excellence that afforded them results sought by major Diamond houses of New York.
These cats just didn't mess around. and it was'nt their dinner dollar that drove it.
And not their pride either.
I wanted to be like them.  I wanted to own a piece of that skill. Just a houseboy to that level of skill.
Why? Because in a thousand years, there will be museums that have John Paul Millers phenomenal
granulation and enamel pieces. And not one item of Paloma Picasso's will be found anywhere.
There's a mastery. There's a depth, and yes a passion, to be working towards that thing in humanity that is not driven by money.
Money.    sigh.
It is indeed needed.  Its lack can be hellish.
I learned the hard way about money.  But that, as said on another subject, is for another day.
When I had no money, I had time. I had a lot of time. I could take my time. I was fortunate to have a little material to work with. And with all that time I damned and determined not to fritter those materials away.
The pieces I made then were near flawless. Not hugely great designs, though some were pretty hot.
No, it was that without that distraction of money I finally broke through the well guarded psyche
door of DRIVE. I stuck with it till it was "RIGHT". Not too much,  just the correct amount. not stopping till it was so. Undisturbed because of my insolvent situation.
An odd source of dues.
And it stuck, and at the same time coalesced. I felt at one with a tiny fraction of what those masters achieved.
Not at all deceiving myself as to skill level, but an understanding of the DRIVE that was behind all that beautiful work. From the Etruscan's to Marv Shapiro. From Byzantine vessels to Laine Goldmans little Les Paul Custom.
Strive for excellence. Do the right thing. Add that finishing work. Smooth that bur, clean that solder join, open that back up, clean up that bezel,  redo that scratch,  re-polish that stone, work out that flat spot, feather that dip.  Polish that mother.
There's 5000 years of mastery riding on your every move.

Unless of course you are just doing it for the money................

It still applies, but you may just miss the association. And the  sweetness of the efforts success.


  1. Love it! That last paragraph gives a good deal to ponder and remember. Well done.

  2. Wise words Barney, thanks for sharing.

  3. Wonderful post and lots of great things to ponder and absorb. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  4. Amazingly wise and well-thought out post. I hope to one day be a "Housegirl" as well. I love your passion and devotion to inward and outward perfection...

  5. Thanks for this, Barney. It was what I needed to be reminded of today as I head for the bench.
    And I love your writing voice.

  6. Artistry with words too. Barney, you are a gem.

  7. I am so excited to follow this blog! Glad you finely took the plunge!