Archive for April, 2013
This is my last letter to you as President and it has been a sincere pleasure to work with the members of SNAG over the past few years. We have a fantastic organization run by fantastic individuals and I have gained so much knowledge and many friendships by serving on the board.
With the end of one term comes the beginning of another. Our 2013 election is coming up quickly. We are electing two members for the board and one member for the Nominations and Elections committee. Jim Bové, Becky McDonah and Rachel Timmins are running for the board seats and Jeff McGee, Gina Westergard and Laura Wood are on the ballot for the Nominations and Elections Committee seat. I strongly urge you to read what the candidates have written about why they want to serve on the board and how their qualifications make them a good choice.
So why all this attention on changing the mining industry? Wouldn’t it be better to just stop using newly mined material altogether and work with the massive amounts of metal that have already been pulled from the earth over the past ten thousand years? More and more these days jewelers have options available to them to use recycled metals and findings. Some jewelers are even working directly with their customers to reclaim old, unwanted jewelry and repurpose it for new pieces. What could be more personally meaningful and ecological than this? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Kazazlık, (also known as “Kazaziye” or “Kazaz”), is one of the rare and rapidly disappearing handcrafts of Turkey. Trabzon, a city in the Black Sea region of Turkey, is the only place in Turkey which produces kazazlık. The word, “kazaz” means, the person who produces and/or sells silk yarns. Kazazlık is a weaving technique that uses 0.08 or 0.09 millimeter (approximately the thickness of a hair) pure gold or pure silver wire wrapped around either silk or nylon threads. This silver or gold wire becomes very strong and flexible so that it can be woven without breaking. Generally, three different thicknesses are used to make jewelry: Thin for making chains, medium thickness for earrings, and thick for pendants and bracelets. The overall thickness of these wrapped wires are between 0.3mm to 0.5mm.
As artisan jewelers those of us involved in the craft arts walk a distinctive path between entrepreneur and artist. While we have a definite interest in creating success for ourselves and those individuals with whom we share our businesses, we are also engaged in a labor of love, manifesting the gift of our creativity in substantive objects that have their own integrity and meaning. In his seminal work, The Gift, Lewis Hyde writes about the use of the term “gift” as having a multitude of different applications, especially as it relates to the arts.