Interview with Michael Stoffel in Three Parts - III

Come to Designer Gold this Saturday, December 12, 2:00 - 5:00 to meet Michael Stoffel!

Part 3 -- Working

Fish Engraved in the back of a Quartz Crystal and Green Garnet on Sterling Silver Chain.

Fish Engraved in the back of a Quartz Crystal and Green Garnet on Sterling Silver Chain.

What are your work habits like?
I keep a fairly regular schedule. I get up with the kids at 6am, but don’t get to sit at bench until 9/9:30. I don’t delve into work right away. It usually takes awhile to start, but once I am in the studio it is hard to stop. I rarely work past 6 pm. I like to work on Saturday, because there is the least amount of distraction. I made it a rule not to work on Sundays.

If a task starts to feel oppressive, I have to stop. Health is more important than work.

Tsavorite Garnet Earrings with 18 karat yellow gold. Note the granulation.

Tsavorite Garnet Earrings with 18 karat yellow gold. Note the granulation.

Is your studio normally clean or messy? 
I keep my studio pretty neat. It gets messy if I am working on a lot of projects at the same time. I mostly try to clean up. I don’t like dirt around me.

What do you listen to in the studio? 
I have always enjoyed listening to national public radio, in particular “Democracy Now” or “All Things Considered." I also listen to a lot of music. I like world music, classical, Afrobeat, jazz or hip-hop.

What is your favorite tool? 
I love all my tools. Most tools are useful in their particular circumstances. I like hammers, but rarely use them. I have a German style blowtorch for soldering, which I use often and like a lot.

Turquoise and Sterling Silver Necklace. The sterling silver beads and catch are hand made.

Turquoise and Sterling Silver Necklace. The sterling silver beads and catch are hand made.

What has been your biggest challenge in pursuing a career as a goldsmith? 
I have moved around a lot and it is always a challenge to set up my workshop.

What aspect do you find most enjoyable?
What I enjoy most about working for myself is the variety of things to do. One day you could be setting stones, shopping for gemstones, designing, working on sales and marketing, writing a price list or catching up on bookkeeping. There are so many facets to running a small business and so many things to get done. I really enjoy the variety. There are also countless jewelry techniques and skills I have not yet tried, such as enameling. I still have so much left to learn and do.

Visit The Gallery at Designer Gold and see more of Michael's work!
Meet Michael at Designer Gold on
 Saturday, December 12, from 2:00-5:00 p.m.