What can be more frustrating for a jewelry maker (next to jewellery not selling) than losing hours of work just for a futility? The smaller the processed pieces the easier they get lost somewhere in the atelier, never mind how small your atelier is. In fact, the smaller the atelier, the more clogged it gets and the easier pieces get lost.
When losing a replaceable item, like a wire cutting, I just cut another piece. But what if a detail which you have cut and polished thoroughly suddenly jumps at the end of polishing process… and disappears! Or a tiny stone, to be set as a finishing touch to a ring? Then you literally have to get on your knees, with a lamp, and start the “Treasure hunt” expedition. Trash to treasure!
Because there are real treasures to find. Besides silver cuttings (which I collect and recycle), I find many things which I considered lost for months. So here I found this amethyst stone. Look closely and you probably find more treasures among trash.
I use a traditional Russian sweeper (called “Venik”) to sweep the dust together. After that I go on my knees and look at the pile through the glasses. Sometimes making a close-up picture helps too.
After hours of sedentary work this might look a useful exercise. However, if you are busy with a challenging project and the most essential part has just vanished into thin air, you feel quite unhappy.
Somehow my intuition helps me to find the missing parts. After the floor has been swept and all nooks and crannies have been inspected… just take a break, clear up your mind, visualize the part you are looking for. And it pops up in a most mysterious way. Like this cat head, which I have found in a most unexpected place – in a screw of my work bench.
Here is the cat, which has been finalized, and is quite happy with its head.
The lesson learned: keep your atelier clean and take a break from time to time. Cleaning helps to convert trash to treasures. Also within your mind.