|The Gemsmith Caste is a sub-caste of the Merchants. The level of knowledge, skill, and creativity required to produce such pieces is pursued using established guidelines to encourage brilliantly crafted, exquisite art.
TRAINING TIMEThe Caste uses the masculine form for description of the rank levels. Whether male or female, the rank title will be the same. The time for training noted for each level is approximate, according to the individual talent and application of what is taught.
APPRENTICE (7 Years)
Learning of essential knowledge to assist the development of skill. Simple tasks are assigned with increasing difficulty as skill is acquired. Individual thinking is encouraged to assist the development of creative talent.
JOURNEYMAN (7 Years)
Increasingly complex learning and tasks, such as design and layout for pieces, mosaic, and engraving. Decreasing supervision on work. Creative expression is encouraged.
MASTER (15th Year)
Knowledge, skill, and creativity have attained a level where the craftsman becomes artist.
NOTE: Slaves may be trained to assist the Craftsman but will not be allowed to gain rank in the Caste, even though their skill and creativity may qualify them, because slaves are without caste. Therefore, a slave may earn the designation of gem smithing assistant and may be rewarded by allowing their product to be marketed.
|(A = Apprentice, J = Journeyman)|
|Gem Cuts||A||Material Selection/Use||A|
TRAINING PROGRESSWhen a Gemsmith accepts an Apprentice, the Caste is informed of it and expects to receive reports of progress. If reports are not received, the student is assumed to be no longer in training and is noted as being such in the Caste records.
Progress in training is determined by the Teacher. An Apprentice becomes one by the acceptance of a Teacher. To advance to Journeyman, the Teacher usually administers the testing. For Master level, a Master must conduct the testing. All testing results are submitted to the Caste.
Apprentice level is where the learning begins with such subjects as gemstones and their qualities and learning to know what to look for in raw material. There is much memory work to be done and the Apprentice works in the Teacher's shop performing simple tasks at first. The Teacher watches the Apprentice for signs of willingness to learn patience in the performance of tasks, and determination and diligence in the effort to perfect knowledge and skill. When the Teacher sees acceptable progress, new learning is added.
When the Teacher decides that the Apprentice has reached an acceptable level of knowledge and skill, the Teacher tests the Apprentice. First, a verbal testing of the Apprentice's knowledge is done to determine that sufficient information has been retained. If the Apprentice does not satisfy this test, testing ends. If the Apprentice passes, the Teacher assigns the crafting of a piece to test skill. When the piece is complete, the Teacher discusses the crafting with the Apprentice and studies the piece. If the Teacher decides that knowledge and skill are sufficient, the Teacher grants Journeyman level and the Caste is informed. Testing is allowed once per year.
Journeyman level builds upon the foundation established during Apprenticeship. More complex processes are taught and more complex tasks are assigned. The Journeyman is allowed to craft pieces under the supervision of the Teacher. As skill increases, the Teacher decreases supervision, until the Journeyman is allowed to work with no supervision. The Teacher must approve each piece crafted by the Journeyman before being released for sale. Personal expression is encouraged for the continued development of creative talent.
When the Teacher decides that the Journeyman has attained a level of expertise sufficient to test for Master, notice is given to the Caste of the intention to test. A test Master is approved, usually the senior Master of the City or Camp.
The Journeyman crafts a piece of their choice, using their knowledge and skill. The Master observes the entire process and does not participate in the crafting. When the crafting is complete, the Master discusses the crafting with the Journeyman and studies the piece. The Master then determines whether the Journeyman has progressed beyond crafting to art, and, thus, to be granted Master. A Journeyman is allowed to test once per year.
GEMSMITH PROCESSRECEIVE THE COMMISSION/HAVE AN IDEA
Ask the customer or yourself as many questions as it takes to be able to craft the piece. If you are in doubt about a detail, ask more questions. Make sure that an agreement has been negotiated as to payment and delivery.
CREATE THE DESIGN
Draw pictures and make notes of styles, colors, textures, gemstones, etc. Write out steps for crafting each part in the best order for efficient production.
Collect all the materials needed and store them together in trays, boxes or any container that works for you.
CRAFT THE ELEMENTS
Cut or carve the gems needed and smelt and forge the metals required. Finish where possible with paints and other finishes, such as antiquing. Finish all elements as much as possible before assembly.
LAY OUT THE ELEMENTS
Position all elements as close to the finished size as possible. If any elements are unsatisfactory, re-craft that element until you are satisfied with it.
Using adhesives, solder, paints, and other finishes, assemble the piece.
CLEAN THE PIECE
Clean and polish the piece. Make sure there is no excess metal, adhesive, paint, etc., evident to a studious eye.
PACKAGE THE PIECE
If a container was crafted for the piece, place the piece within that container. Wrap the container or piece to avoid soiling and damage.
CONTACT THE CUSTOMER
Contact the customer and arrange for delivery and payment. Do not accept payment until the customer approves the piece. If necessary, re-craft the piece until it is acceptable to the customer.