Frayed copper wire. Bare, ribbed aluminum cans. Bottle caps scarred with shiny scratch marks: to most people, these metal scraps are nothing more than that. But to junior Franklin Labovitz, these items are more than forsaken bits and pieces: they are puzzle pieces which will come together to make a masterpiece.
Though he has and continues to advance far beyond working with arbitrary metal scraps, Labovitz is in his element when working with his hands to create. Over the years, his interest has tapered down specifically to jewelry making, but he has always loved building.
“My view on building has been fairly similar throughout life. When I was very young, I never had a goal. I just wanted to put stuff together, even if it was something that was just kind of hideous. When I got older, I had a set goal. Today, when I do work with jewelry and such I usually have something in mind that I want to create in the end. I still enjoy building just for the sake of building,” Labovitz said.
“When I was younger, I very much enjoyed building things. Mostly, I used Lego Bionicle,” Labovitz said. “I still do a lot of building, with much smaller stuff.”
Labovitz’s jewelry-making avocation began in eighth grade, the starting point for which was just tinkering with metal scraps in the basement.
“A few years later, I started taking courses on [jewelry making]. Last summer, I attended a camp at Inerlochen that focused on metalsmithing. That’s where I learned actual metal-smithing as opposed to makeshift basement work,” Labovitz said.
The art of building grants Labovitz a thrill that he has “never really been able to put into words.” He summarizes it as “the idea that I can express myself without limitations on presets. That’s even more specific with jewelry as opposed to, when I was younger, with Legos.”
Labovitz hopes to pursue this interest as a formal career.
“Right now I do have my eye set on Jewelry in my future. I have a lot of experience with it, and I enjoy it.”