My Dad Is A Master Jeweler And I’m His Apprentice
I never imagined I would follow in my father’s footsteps, yet here I am 12 years deep in the jewelry business. My dad’s been a jeweler since before I was born, but it wasn’t until I was 18 that I started learning about the industry.
This was not a slow and gradual process. It was a sink or swim, eat or be eaten, trial by fire business start up. In 2004, we opened a small store (with my parents’ life savings) gambling on the hope that we’d make a living off of our shared passion for all things glittery and gold. My dad had 31 years of experience at that time – and I had exactly none. Fast forward to 2017 and AVA Goldworks is still going strong. We’re both national and international award-winning designers, and create silver and gold masterpieces in our little studio.
A Master at work
Dad really is a master. He’s one of only 128 Jewelers of America Certified Master Bench Jewelers in the USA. Here, he’s annealing platinum. Annealing is simply heating the metal to alter the microstructure causing changes in properties such as strength, hardness, and ductility. In other words, heating the metal so he can work it.
Dad & me
Before you see the jewels, you should see the jewelers. Meet Randy (AKA Dad) and me (Brandy). Before you even ask, I had no say in the rhyming names.
Here are a few rings we worked on together. I carved the wax models and Dad did the metal work and stone setting.
This is my bestie, Hillary! She models our jewelry and I take the photos. Here, she’s wearing two of our sterling silver, yellow gold, and diamond rings.
Here are some fun earrings that I made all by myself.
This is a Druzy and Abalone pendant that Dad and I made together.
A few photos of our “Spinner” pendants being made. Beginning with the rough casting, polishing, and adding the Ava name to the finished piece.
My dad designed and made these pendants. We call them “Spinners” because the gemstone sphere spins in its sterling silver casing!
All of our jewelry is handmade in our studio
These earrings started out as a hand carved wax model that was then cast into sterling silver. I designed and carved these earrings way back when I was 19 and just learning how to carve wax models.
With an assortment of sterling silver and natural gemstone AVA rings on display. She says you can never have enough.