Spreading the passion for Gems, Jewelry and everything Jewelry related
Welcome to Jewelry Deconstructed. My name is Gerald Livings and I am a Jewelry Educator. What does that mean? It means that I talk about jewelry, the jewelry trade, and research Historical Jewelry Manufacturing Processes. I share this on my blog, website, and YouTube channel.
As to how I begin the creative path that I am on now, that is an interesting story. In the fall of 1985, I made my first piece of jewelry in the recreation center at Ft. Hood Texas while serving in the US Army. With no experience (or talent) at all I managed, under a friend’s direction, to make a piece that was very simple. I took up making simple jewelry as a way to learn patience. Not expecting anything to come of it, I was surprised when jewelry making became a passion and then a career.
At the point somewhere about when I realized that this was not just a hobby to teach myself patience, but was becoming a passion, I decided to try and become a jeweler. I was unsure what that meant at the time, but I feel that I have achieved 80% of that goal. There is always more to learn.
I make jewelry and tools to make jewelry. I create art that people wear. I teach and share information about all aspects of the jewelry trade. I am a jewelry educator.
This jewelry related path important to me. It is so much a part of me, that I cannot begin to understand just how important it is to myself. I always ask myself what drives me to create, and teach about jewelry?
I think it is the need to make beautiful things. I think it is to distance myself from all of the ugly things in life. Teaching is my way of passing on my passion for jewelry and the trade to others.
I like to describe my style as logical, hands-on, realistic, respectful, joyful, and meditative all at once.
I am a believer that your craftsmanship is a reflection of your passion for what you create. Be that a piece of jewelry, or your research.
I like to think that the following quotes about Jewelry and Art will say a lot about how I approach my work and the jewelry I design.
You have to roll up your sleeves and be a stonecutter before you can become a sculptor, command of craft always precedes art: apprentice, journeyman, master.Philip Gerard
…sane judgment abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence. Now the sole reason why painters of this sort are not aware of their own error is that they have not learnt Geometry, without which no one can either be or become an absolute artist; but the blame for this should be laid upon their masters, who themselves are ignorant of this art.”Albrecht Dürer, Of the Just Shaping of Letters, 1535
Do not make something unless it is both necessary and useful, but if it is both necessary and useful; do not hesitate to make it beautiful.Shaker Proverb about the design philosophy of the Shakers
The people who influence my art and my passion include Lon Putman the friend who first handed me a pencil and had me design something to make, Fred Fenster who is by any scale a master jeweler, From history, Benvenuto Cellini, Gustav Fabergé, and the Falize French Jewellery house. And last but not least, nature. Just look around and you will see art in every aspect of the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms.
I did not come at this with talent, so I know what it is like to have to work hard to learn. I know that as an instructor I understand that everyone has their own best way to learn. By being there and listening to the questions and needs of those I work with, we all learn.
If you are like me 3 decades ago, someone who is just starting this wonderful journey, and who have a passion about jewelry, but do not know where to start. you are the people I want to work with and help learn.
So, let’s begin and walk this path together.