Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Passion, Mad Passionate Love

After the initial shock of learning a new medium - I can usually pick up most mediums and will flow with them in a very short period of time, at least passably so - the metals were, shall I say, a challenge and will continue to be.

Today, on a whim, I cut the wide silver ring in half to make two smaller width silver rings. The stone I have is a bit like the one in the photo - but I am wrestling with whether I should use a piece of Chinese turquoise instead of the pyrite - or make two, one with the pyrite and one with the Chinese turquoise. I have to think of a design as well, the teacher's prerequisite was not a plain ring, but to create a design on the ring circumference. I rather like the elegant sleekness of the "plain" ring above. Perhaps I will make the pyrite ring plain and the turquoise ring with an Indian design on the sides of the stone. I had better get myself into the studio off hours if I do that.

Each time I learn something new I dread it - any additions will require learning the dreaded "rolling machine" that flattens metal so one can make round metal or square metal strings to soften with a torch and shape. Now, I have to master "bevels." A bevel is the little seating that the stone fits (or is supposed to fit) into. We are learning "double bevels."

All said, learning to use tools and torches has been a hoot...and has given me confidence regarding tools. I got out my set of screwdrivers, took the entire sweeper head from my vacuum apart in the last two days, repaired it, and put it back together. Then I oiled and cleaned the motor in the vacuum. I won't tell you how ridiculously long it too me, but -it now works! I also used my jewelry tools and repaired the little award stars that lost their tips for my grandson to put back on his baseball hat.

Today, one of the guys showed me a metal he had made from an old 1600's Japanese method of mixing silver with copper. Soshu - something - it was rustic and beautiful - how intoxicating is that? It's like digging up your own clay to make pottery, maybe more exciting - like picking your own berries to make wine, or growing your own flowers to make essential oils.

I always thought my fingers were too big to work on tiny things. No - I am doing it. Sometimes with difficulty but I'm doing it. I'm in mad, passionate love with metal smithing. Can't wait to move on to the bigger stuff - boxes, etc. Times like these I am so happy inside and I feel fulfilled, excited, and then life becomes too short for everything.


Ya Think? said...

I admire you for taking on this course.. AND I love that ring!!

tweetey30 said...

Glad to hear you are having fun and feel fulfilled. You know I was told once to take things one at at a time. That ring is very purty.. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments with us.

tshsmom said...

I'm so happy that you're finding fulfillment with this new skill!
I can bevel wood, but the only thing I can do with metal is solder two pieces together.

Gardenia said...

tshsmom - how do you bevel wood? Well, I will look it up - I always wanted to work with wood too - there is something about the smell and feel of wood........

tshsmom said...

You either turn your saw blade at an angle, or you use a router.
Now that we have a garage, the table saw can be permanently accessible. I've learned all sorts of neat techniques in the last year.

Working with wood is very soothing to me. Staining a beautifully grained piece of wood is like creating a work of art to me. ;)

Gardenia said...

tshsmom - it is a work of art!