One of the problems with working in a goldsmith shop as opposed to some fancy-ass retail store is that the bigger picture becomes obscured by the job at hand. I have an uncanny ability to focus on the small picture (Whoever said “Don’t sweat the small stuff” wasn’t a goldsmith) leaves me somewhat unprepared for the world around me.

As I work away in a building with an air conditioning system that is unpredictable, at best, and currently completely non-functional, I don’t really worry about the fact that perspiration is making it difficult to hold onto my tools. I just grip more tightly. It has always been a characteristic of the places I’ve worked (or owned) that the most important thing is the quality of the piece being made at that moment, and my surroundings shouldn’t make any difference. Suck it up.

I begin to recognize the true extent of the discomfort when a civilian shows up. My customers seem to accept the heat without complaint, although after climbing several flights of stairs, they could be forgiven for kvetching some. Not only is my shop on the actual third floor of the building rather than the second, as would be understood from the address, but each flight of stairs is ungodly high, given the fourteen-foot ceilings we are blessed with. I’ve considered obtaining one of those emergency kits with the cardiac paddles, just in case.

So, to my customers, thank you for your patience and forbearance. The cooling system is, so they claim, up and running again and the building should be comfortable by the time the weather cools down. You’ll be able to hang beef in here. Bring a sweater.