So a few weeks ago my mom told me that she would help me out financially if I wanted to set up my own jewelry studio. I was stoked! I didn’t know where to start from. I always thought it would be great to have my own studio but had never thought of the logistics of it. Where would I find a good space for it? Where should I buy my tools from? What torch should I get? Millions of questions similar to this started running through my head. Then it dawned on me and made me happy to the bone but also freaked me out a little: my mom believes in me!! and although she doesn’t have a lot of money she believes in me so much so that she is putting her money on me!! So I decided I’m going to start this with the mind set of an entrepreneur. I love what I do and I plan to do it for a living so I’m just going to approach it like a small business.
I started by thinking of a few things that are essential: like a workbench and a torch. I had accumulated some of the tools I would need while I was at school thanks to a classmate’s advice which went something like this: buy a few tools at a time every time you have money (financial aid) that way you don’t have to suddenly spent a chunk of money when you’re out of school and (most likely) poor. I looked up Craigslist, ebay, amazon.com, and any sites I could possibly find for a cheap work bench, and although I found a few on Craigslist, none of the ones I acquired about responded. (I don’t get why it’s so hard for people to just e-mail back and say it’s sold!!)
Still in search of a cheap workbench, I moved on to the torch. Here I have to say that I realized the shortcomings of our program at school and perhaps many schools. They do not prepare you to survive on your own. I think that the main focus is on getting you prepared for a masters program. I mean don’t get me wrong. I loved the program I was in and learned so much, but I wish that I had also learned about how to set up my own studio, what are the best torch and tools and the best places to get them from and the business aspect of things. More than the program I think it is the responsibility of the guild and hence ourselves to provide this kind of knowledge for each other. This brings me to why I started this blog. Many of my peers are probably a lot more savvy than me when it comes to the above mentioned, but for people out there who are more like me, I thought this blog might help. I hope that you take away something valuable from my smart choices, laugh at my dumb ones, and learn from my mistakes.
Back to the torch. After asking a few friends and researching, and asking some more specially from my wonderful and amazing friend at:
I noticed that a lot of people like Smith’s little torch, which seems like a nice one as well but I prefer the b tank, mainly because I’m use to working with it and it has worked for me. This particular one from weldfabulous is the cheapest there is. I called welding supply stores around me, most of them did not carry it, and the ones that did sold it for more than $200, so I settled on this. Of course you can always look on Craigslist and find something that is not in a perfect package like this and probably much cheaper, but being a newbie at this, I didn’t want to get stuck with the wrong torch or a leaking one.
What I did not know about purchasing torches: there is a part called the “outfit” of the torch which is what is shown in this picture, there is also the cylinder (which I am constantly tempted to call the “tank”), and there is also the stand/dolly/tote (frankly I still don’t know what the right term is) which is what holds the cylinder. I loved the ones we had at school but can’t seem to find them anywhere on the internet. I almost bought a acetylene cylinder from the same place as the outfit, but I was informed that there is no point in getting your own new tank. First of all they ship empty, second of all the gas company doesn’t fill it up, they exchange the cylinder for a full one (which is usually old and dinky), and finally most important of all, you don’t have to buy one, you basically put a deposit in for one at the company you chose to get gas from and borrow it from them until you are done with that company.
Things I learned in the process of getting my torch:
1. Do your research: don’t buy the first thing you see. Look at as many sites and call as many stores as you can to find the best deal.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask: Although some people are stingy with information, you will find that there are still few good people who are willing to help. Also, don’t be afraid to look stupid or annoy people. I am sure there are more than a few of my classmates that found my constant questions when I first got started in this field quite annoying, but it was because of their help (whether they liked it or not) and my persistence that I am where I am today.
(: I’m sure I learned more just can’t think of it right now! 🙂
I still haven’t received my torch in the mail, so check my blog to stay posted on how the torch really is and the set up drama.
Also soon to come: pictures of my studio space…