Jewelry and metalsmithing might seem like they have nothing in common with other jobs. You might be surprised to learn some of the same techniques are used in seemingly unrelated industries.
The easiest comparison would be with farriers. These days most horseshoes are premade and just slightly altered to fit each horse’s hoof. But they still use hammers, anvils, and either a torch or miniforge to move the steel.
The techniques metalsmiths use to make hollowware (like my bowls or teapot) are the same that auto body repair shops use. They work on a grander scale and have some cool suction based tools for dents that my pieces are too small for, but the basic idea is the same. One of my online hammer sources is actually geared for body repair.
Most surprising of all might be the connections between jewelers and dentists. Yes, you read that right. Dentistry uses similar tools and techniques for tooth repair that jewelers use to create work. A dentist drill is the same thing as my flex shaft (like a dremel tool.) It just uses much smaller bits. They use polishing wheels, molds, and other tools that are incredibly similar to those that jewelers who cast metal use. I’ve even heard of dentists who make jewelry as a sideline or hobby, even to put them through school.
So next time you get your teeth cleaned or head to Maaco, remember that they’re just jewelers on a different scale. It might feel less scary that way.