Internship with the goldsmith Heike Burgemann

Brandenburg / H.It was supposed to be a necklace. Made of gold. Lene Scholz takes gold nuggets, raw castings, holds them in a flame and hits the anvil until they are square. Started.

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Lene Scholz is just finishing an internship at the Heike Burgemann jewelery and goldsmith’s workshop on Ritterstraße: “I wanted to do something manual,” says ninth grade at the Domgimnazjum. Since she also enjoys art work, this internship is a great fit.

Chains from Brandenburg an der Havel

The nice thing about this: you can also make your own jewelry. Silver and gold become necklaces.

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The cuboids formed by it “must be repeatedly annealed to make it easier to work on them”. In order for the gold to become softer and finer crystalline, Lene needs to heat and hammer the workpiece several times.

The metal must be continuously annealed.

The metal must be continuously annealed.

The metal itself has a structure similar to a mesh with meshes. As metal is processed, the mesh size in the structure becomes larger and larger. Heike Burgemann explains that it is annealed from time to time to keep it from tearing.

The goldsmith spent her childhood between the anvil and polishing powder in the interests of her father. At that time, she had never dreamed of working in a goldsmith’s shop. Work was too quiet for her. She would prefer to be a teacher. After all, there is always something going on in school, working with live children and working in a very social profession.

So that the workpiece can be processed well

The gold block is now ready, soft and fine enough crystalline. Lene can roll the workpiece carefully. Rotates a cuboid through a cylinder. This makes the piece flatter and longer. “The cuboid we carved here must be very well broken,” explains Heike Burgemann. “Not only do we need to shape it, but we also have to get inside the metal.” Now Lene starts hammering the blade into the piece.

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Goldsmith Heike Burgemann shows Lene Scholz how it's done.

Goldsmith Heike Burgemann shows Lene Scholz how it’s done.

When she realized that studying psychology in Potsdam and a teaching career would not work, Heike Burgemann refined her career. She dedicated herself to art and studied “applied arts” on the Baltic Sea in Heiligendamm. She returned to Brandenburg as a certified designer. After reunification, she studied Jewelery and Object Design in Pforzheim.

On her way to the chain, Lene drags the metal through the drawing iron with large pliers. This tool has many holes of different sizes. The metal becomes the wire. You start with the biggest hole. With each small hole it tapers down until it is very fine.

Subject in a workshop in Brandenburg

The metal becomes coarse crystalline again with repeated broaching, so Lene has to anneal the workpiece from time to time. A cast blank measuring 5.5 by 5.5 centimeters became wire 0.9 millimeters thick. Heike Burgemann is satisfied.

The teacher she would like to be is breaking through. In fact, the company doesn’t give her enough time to look after the interns. But Heike Burgemann would like to give young people a chance to try out different things.

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Together they mill the workpiece.

Together they mill the workpiece.

Although she was sad at first for not being able to do community service, she now enjoys her job very much. Over the years, Heike Burgemann has realized that the jewelry she creates for her customers can also have an impact on society. The doctor for whom Heike Burgemann forged the medallion told her, “The medallion gives me support and strength when I lie down at night after surgery.”

And the chain? Lene cuts the wire into short pieces, twists them into small rings and weaves them together. Finally, the ninth grader polishes the gold – done. And stylish.

Teamwork in Brandenburg goldsmiths

Heike Burgemann sees potential in Lene. “My employees and I are very impressed with her. It absorbs quickly and fits well with the team. ” At one point, the foreman sees a deficit: “Lene still has no strength in her fingers, but she can still learn it.”

Lene is proud of her necklace. “It’s nice that I can do so much myself,” she says. Would that be a job for you? The student nods. “I think so”.

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Author: Helene Damaschke

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