Master Makers is a series of posts focused on brilliant makers with the ability to teach others how to do what they do.
Jewelry has always left me befuddled. When I think of buying it, I think of spending a lot of money (without being really sure why.) When I think of making it, I think of putting trinkets on a pre-made chain. When Smitheries thinks of jewelry, they think 30g of silver, silicone, a hammer and a steady hand.
And that's the difference between me making Megan an anniversary gift and Smitheries creating works of art.
Turns out making jewelry is really hard to master, but easy to start doing. Smitheries began over a decade ago when teachers from the famous Onefrom-Onepiece Jewelry School decided to expand their horizons and start their own gig. Since then, it has been Bangkok's go-to on how to make jewelry. And we're not talking some "put a stone on a string" classes…we're talking about a wax-carving, silicone-molding, hammer-smashing, heat-welding good time.
With an array of classes that that can last from a single day (learning to create basic rings or earrings) to multiple days (honing techniques to build something special), you'll be getting knowledge dropped on you by some of the industry's most knowledgeable teachers in one of Bangkok's most chill, creative environments (they're located a floor below the amazing leather workshop R Studio.)
We stopped by for the day and met Gimm helping a student wrap up a complex piece. Gimm is one of the original instructors at Smitheries that's helped show thousands of travelers from around the world how to craft jewelry from concept to completion—a skill he picked up by simply doing it over and over and over…
Gimm's understanding of jewelry would've seemingly led him to bigger and bolder pieces, but in his spare time he's turned his focus in another direction—namely the direction of his face. A glasses wearer for life, Gimm wanted to create a pair from scratch instead of relying on a big corporation to make one for him. Learning through trial-by-error in the same way he had with his original rings and necklaces, Gimm eventually finished his first pair in just under 30 hours. And while the process has slowly gotten easier (he runs his own eyewear company), it's still a labor of love that requires MANY hours of work to produce something amazing to live on your face.
From ear-wear to eyewear, Smitheries is a maker's hub that can teach you to make things from scratch you might not have known was possible outside a factory. Breaking down the intimidating and making it approachable is an art form in itself—and what better way to remind yourself of that than to make a ring to commemorate it.
If you're ever in Bangkok, you can contact Gimm or another instructor on their Facebook.
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