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Jeff Fulkerson

Posted on June 18 2018



                I was thinking about combining different materials and metals, sometimes called “Marriage of Metals” and what it takes to bring them together successfully. Of course, as my mind wanders (and wonders) I started thinking about marriage in general and my marriage to Roxanne in particular.

                Marriage is a funny thing when you get right down to it. You’re trying to take two completely different materials or people; with different make ups, different properties, from different backgrounds with different likes and dis-likes; different personalities and temperaments, and try to make them one. Sounds like an impossible job, right? But the truth is that over 70% of first marriages last and married people are happier and healthier than single people.  (U.S. Census Bureau) Go figure.

                How can this happen? Well, in the study of marriage and marriages, certain common traits keep popping up in successful marriages.  In other words, if you do the right things, the union will be successful.  The same is true of marriage of metals. 

                I’ve been playing with gold on steel lately, and one thing I’ve learned about the process is, you have to follow the process!  If you leave out a step or do a step incorrectly or take the steps out of order, you won’t get the desired results.  And you may just get a big blob!

                This dedication to ‘doing the right things’  transfers over to so many things in jewelry making; soldering, bezel setting, and polishing to name a few.  Which brings me to the reason I’m writing today.

                When I teach jewelry making classes, beginning to advanced, I try to always stress the techniques being taught, and the proper way to execute them.  I hope the reason is obvious: follow the proven steps and you will be successful.  But more than that, you can then transfer that technique to other areas and pieces of jewelry. I find the people in my classes who have the most trouble are the one who want to do it ‘their way.’  Which makes me wonder why they are taking a class from me if they already know it all.  Hmmm...

                Turns out the same thing is true in human relationships.  But just like jewelry making, you have to learn the proper techniques and then consistently apply them.  When you do, you will be successful almost all of the time, whether in jewelry making or life.  And again, the people who won’t apply what we know works, are the ones who have the most trouble in relationships. 

                So take a class in jewelry and in life. Learn from someone who’s gone before you and already been where you are and where you want to go. You will have successes and failures, but the only real failure is not getting up and trying again.

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