A Newbie at the Downtown LA Jewelry DisctricTour - Tony Nguyen


MASSC recently held a Downtown LA Jewelry District Tour to which I had partaken in. The tour started in an alleyway with cozy little food shops that lined the walls. We all met at a small coffee shop named La Café Bonjour (and boy, did we need the coffee). After everyone had arrived we were broken into different groups and each group had a diverse mixture of students that have never been to the district, veterans in the field, and hobbyists trying to broaden their horizon. Personally, it has always felt as if I was doing a great disservice to myself for never having visited the Jewelry District Tour even though I was a student getting my degree in Metalsmithing/ Jewelry Design. Truly, it was a great disservice to myself as it would turn out to be, however, I’m very happy that my first experience with this elaborate maze called the Jewelry District was with MASSC. The reason being so, is that our tour guides (our group had the awesome tour guide, Marta) knew the in and outs of the Jewelry district such as the secret locations of the shops (alright, they weren’t exactly secret locations, but they might as well have been with where all these shops ended up being located in the district), they had intimate working relationships with the shop owners/workers which in turned helped our group make a rapport with these professionals, and finally they generously shared their own personal expertise and knowledge on the fields of metalsmithing and jewelry. Overall, the day was a fantastic experience, and I can honestly say that I learned more about the Jewelry District and the people within it in a day than if I were to explore it myself within a month’s time.