What a few days!
I am completely exhausted: got back from Brighton on Sunday night at about 11.30 but didn't get into bed until nearer 1am after getting everything together. Taught all day on Monday and did some voluntary work in the evening until 11pm. That wasn't so much trouble, but then I didn't sleep and had to be at the airport to go to Coventry for a conference on CAD/CAM. All day, we wandered around, chatting to people, looking at machinery and samples, listening to speakers and watching demonstrations (I have GOT to get my hands on a direct metal printer!). Back to the hotel after that, where I didn't sleep again but had to get on a 7am flight back to Glasgow to meet with my stone-dealer and help the students buy stones. Meeting at 4pm until 6pm about our new qualification. Home at last. Hope I sleep tonight!
Rapid prototyping and manufacture is going to be such a major way forward for us jewellers and there is no escaping that. To be able to beat the sweat-shops and offer a unique product with a cutting edge, jewellers are either going to have to go down the line of my own work - using scavenged and unusual materials - or the line of technology in order to do this. Everything else is fading fast. It makes me wonder exactly what is the place of the jewellery courses we currently offer? They have a few years yet, but this needs to be addressed. As one of my students said to me, talking about the need to make a living from her work, "This isn't therapy".
My wonderful stone-dealer, Marcia Lanyon, didn't disappoint. (She never does.) I spent an absurd sum of money on stones, including some Rose-cut black diamonds and a monumental 62ct Amethyst!
Dinner and bed soon...