Studio Notes: Schotoma, Bench Blindness, or Simply–Can’t See What’s Right in Front of You

Darn. Two seconds ago. The tiny clasp was right in front of me as I sat at my jeweler’s bench. I was just about to pick it up and attach it to the chain, but it has disappeared. I look at the clock. I need to hurry so I can deliver my finished jewelry to a gift shop.

Now I’ll never find it!

Then I think to myself: what a great idea for a blog post. I get up and go online to see if anything has been written about losing stuff right in front of you. A few seconds later, I learn I’m not alone. This frustrating occurrence is called Schotoma.

Back at the bench, I bet the clasp has probably fallen on the floor. And as I look down, there it is. I’ve even stepped on it without realizing it.

What happened?

According to online experts, I put myself under the pressure of a deadline. Then when the part went missing, I told myself I’d never find it. Firmly believing this, my helpful brain created a blind spot. But when I thought of something completely different and forgot about being frustrated, my eyes fell on the floor (a logical spot) and I saw the wayward clasp.

Need more proof? Test yourself. Count the number of times the letter F appears in the statement below:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT

OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY

COMBINED WITH THE

EXPERIENCE OF MANY YEARS OF EXPERTS.

Watch for Betsy’s story on Colorado diamonds and her easy demo for setting diamond crystals in the September/October, 2017, issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.
Answer: There are seven “of” them.


Betsy Lehndorff is a Michigan silversmith and has been writing for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist since 2010. Her latest article, Tube and Chain Necklace with Pearl, appeared in the March 2017 issue.

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