Lost Arts

Popular career paths in 2017 include nurses, accountants, physicians and web developers.

However there seems to be more and more of a gap when it comes to custom made items. Custom artistry is an avenue a lot of young people don’t consider as a career option anymore because of modern technology, ready made items and shifting work patterns. Careers like jewelers and carpenters are now considered to be lost arts.

Local jeweler Alex Ramos owns and operates Plantation Jewelers located on Plant Street in historic downtown Winter Garden. Ramos has over 30 years in the business and is noticing a decline in finding quality makers to join his team who know the craft. According to Ramos there are 3 ways to learn this art. It’s typical for jewelers to enter this career path if it’s in “the family business” which is true for Ramos.  Other options are schooling and apprenticeships. A lot of people take for granted that each piece of jewelry Ramos designs & hand makes is completely customized using a variety of tools and techniques. He likened the trade to blacksmithing on a very small and detailed scale – which Ramos actually “tinkers” with from time to time at home.
One of Ramos’ first creations, a scuba dive tank pendant made out of pure gold can still be found in his shop 30 years later among stunning treasures from grandfather clocks to engagement rings.

Just down the street from Ramos’ shop, local chocolatier Anna Kaebisch considers her trade a Lost Art. “These days people are focusing only on making quick money (not passion), we need more people to be more inclined to doing these lost arts” shares Kaebisch. Kaebisch started to make her own candy in her home country Brazil when she was 8- years-old. This passion led her to open up her chocolate shop located in Winter Garden. Kaebisch is a self taught maker and fuses a lot of her Brazilian heritage into her creations like her handmade Caipirinha infused chocolate pieces.

Family influence and heritage was a big motivation for woodworker Micah Robinson, owner of Crafted in Florida. Robinson is a local carpenter who got into the business because both of his grandfathers have a heavy background in carpentry. Robinson’s grandfather built his home from the ground up and made a career out of woodworking. He introduced his passion to his grandson, so you can say it’s in Micah’s DNA as his talent comes natural. This is a passion for Robinson as everyday is a different challenge and the satisfaction of seeing a customer loving their new farm table, custom headboard or other types of wood decor is a priceless feeling for him.
“With custom woodwork your building something the customer wants. Everything is tailored for a particular space, size and style and having something in your home that is custom-made is a treasure you can pass onto the next generation.”
Micah says custom work is definitely becoming a lost art due to the time and patience of true craftsmanship.

Photo Credit: Tatum Cempella

So the next time you’re out shopping don’t take for granted the handmade piece of chocolate in the display case, the custom ring your wear on your left hand ring finger or the table you have a meal at.

Story by:

Josh McDonald
Age 10

Roberto Vargas
Age 11