Hello, let me introduce myself. My name is Doug Napier but some of you may know me as "The JewelryMonk"... I will get into that shortly. I have been involved in the jewelry industry since 1985, mostly in a manufacturing setting. I started working with a company doing simple assembly work and picked it up relatively quickly. The thing about me is, I am never really satisfied with only doing something good, I am more interested in learning something new. From a manufacturing setting, I brought this zeal into soldering, plating, polishing, stone setting, mold making, and lastly model making, and this is where I thrived. Model making is the art of creating the original designs for manufacturing through metalsmithing, wax carving and casting. The "model" is then cleaned up and a mold is made, which the production runs are made from. If there is any blemish at all in the model, it will show up in every piece of jewelry made from that mold, so attention is paid to detail. I have been a modelmaker for companies from South Dakota, Seattle, The Dominican Republic, New York City, and back to South Dakota where I currently reside. I also have a studio at home. Over the past 15 years, I have also combined my model making skills with computer aided design, but my heart is at the bench and even more so as a teacher.
Let me get a bit personal and tell you a story that changed my life. A number of years ago I lived in the Dominican Republic for a couple of years training model makers how to make jewelry. I didn't speak but about 10 words of Spanish...... interesting times. Driving back and forth to work every day along the Coastal Highway was one of the most beautiful drives..... but I digress. Along this drive, when I got into the city of Santo Domingo, at every stoplight, there were always people asking for money. Un-Peso-Por-Favor, or in English "Can I Have a Peso Please"? Peso's were pretty cheap, so I always kept a bunch of peso coins in my vehicle, a 1963 Chevy Pickup..... (another story)
This one particular day I stopped at this stoplight and I noticed this Dominican lady standing there with 7 children, all between the age of 1-10, the 1 year old was on her hip. The light turned red and the lady and her children dispersed and tapped on all the car windows with their dirty faces.... Un-Peso-Por-Favor..... I started thinking to myself, this lady has quite the business going on here, the light changes every 2 minutes, loads of cars, loads of dirty faced kids.... she is probably making good money..... in fact, she is probably making better money than I am...... I started to feel dirty and angry inside. Then I heard a voice speak to me. It was not an audible voice, but it spoke to me deep inside my being. I heard, "Your job is to give, not to judge who you think is "worthy of your pesos", You are a giver, not a judge. How would you like to be judged the same way you judge?" WOW, I was shaken, and have looked at the world differently ever since.
So I give...... and my website www.JewelryMonk.com has been a vessel of giving back to the craft that has given me so much. I started JewelryMonk.com close to 2 years ago and it has been truly a joy. Some of the ways I teach right now are:
1. Tutorials, in fact when I first started this site, I did 90 tutorials in 90 days!! If you are new to this JewelryMonk journey, go ahead and check it out and scroll down and go back a few pages and check out some great content.
2. Podcasts, I have been doing a few podcasts lately and plan to continue them. If you are not familiar with podcasts, they are like internet radio shows that you can subscribe to and listen to whenever you please. You can listen to them at the website, or download them from iTunes or Stitcher onto your mobile devices or smart phones and listen to them at your leisure, or drives to work, or sitting at your workbench, etc.
3. Video teaching, this is new to me, and I am still pretty uncomfortable in front of the camera, but I will get better, and the video and audio quality will get better I promise, but I created my first video teaching on Bezel Setting Tips. It can be found at www.JewelryMonk.com/
BezelSetTips Check it out and let me know what you think. There will be more coming.
So this is a long intro, but it is my way, I guess, to say thank you for inviting me into your Love My Art Jewelry World, and inviting you to come on a journey with me. If you will have me, I would like to contribute here at the Love My Art Jewelry Blog every so often.
Again, thanks for letting me stop by and I hope to see ya soon. You can also follow along on FaceBook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Just look for "JewelryMonk"
Now...... Go Make Something Shiny!