The Journey of My Professional Life – Sometimes Interrupted, but Never to Retire

I started to train in precious metals at the age of 19 and my progress has been arduous, with few highlights.  Yet I still derive pleasure from the slightest repair job as much as a commission…Nigel     coffee pot

CYRIL STANLEY SMITH
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
“…..the role of technology in altering human affairs has been consistently neglected…..the record of man’s technological achievements is written not in words but hidden in objects, and because the record is hard to identify, it has not always been preserved.
A purposeful, utilitarian mind is indispensible in developing an abstract idea to the point of social importance, but the discovery of something new requires the sensibility and curiosity of the artist.
The history of metals in the hands of man encompasses fire and pain, frustration and triumph. It is the history of curious, creative man sweating and struggling through thousands of years over materials so mysterious that their craft was held in superstitious awe.
Thus Biringuccio continued: “He who wishes to practise this art must not be of a weak nature, either from age or constitution, but must be strong, young and vigorous…..nor do I doubt that who considers this art well will fail to recognise a certain brutishness in it, for the founder is always like a chimney sweep, covered with charcoal and distasteful sooty smoke…..to this is added the fact that for this work a violent and continuous straining of all a man’s strength is required which brings great harm to his body and holds many dangers to his life. In addition, this art holds the mind of the artificer in suspense and fear regarding its outcome and keeps his spirit distorted and almost continuously anxious…..but, with all this, it is a profitable and skilful art and in large part beautiful.”

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