Vincent Van Hees
1. How long have you been working on the work bench you currently using? Does it have a story / history?
My workbench has been used by me since the beginning of my education as a goldsmith /silversmith in Schoonhoven, the Netherlands in 1983. I made it myself from a standard workbench-top of laminated wood from which I cut the typical half round cut-out with a saw, and attached it to a frame from a secondhand goldsmith-bench that had an old wasted top.
The bench peg I made from a solid tropical hardwood (Merbau) thinking that that would last longer than the standard thin ones. So far I have been correct as it is still in place and used daily from dawn till dusk. With a charming amount of wear showing the hand of time (and mine).
2. Which is your favorite tool, and why?
Choosing a favorite tool is difficult as I have several but tactility is important for me so with that as a criterium I choose my pliers, planishing hammer and triblet. As they too have been used by me since the beginning they have acquired a great smoothness and patina and I enjoy handling them.
3. What is the jewellery making technique / process you enjoy the most, and why?
Again, choosing a favorite jewellery technique/process is a difficult one but I would say that the process of making prototypes for new designs using diverse techniques is the most pleasurable one for me. Creating something out of nothing so to say. Order from chaos!
In that process I use standard drawing techniques for the design and sometimes 3d modeling, molding and assembling techniques for metal, paper folding, woodworking techniques etc.
It is probably the diverseness of techniques that stimulate me and bring out the feeling in me that I am bit of a sculptor but then for adornment of people.
4. Anything else you want to tell us about your jewellery bench?
I am rather fond of my workbench, it is almost a part of me as I have spend so much time working at it creating jewellery for 36 years now.