Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to Metalsmithing!

Seems I've been posting mostly 'off-topic' lately -

not that I intend the blog to be SOLEY and ONLY specifically metalsmithing, every post, all the time, 24/7/365........

its a Metalsmith's journey - and part of this metalsmith's journey is balancing family, full time job, and other hobbies/interests.

However, I know that many of you reading are my fellow 'smithers' so I am very happy to say that I've gotten some bench time over the past week and I have some new (in progress) pieces. Such as the little peridot ring to the left.

YAY! New work makes me so happy. :) Or maybe its more the creating of the new work that makes me happy.

Oh heck, its probably a bit of both.

I don't know how I went so many years without a creative outlet. For so long I really wasn't 'into' anything. Not seriously, if at all. I went through buying stages but not really 'doing' stages. I bought all the stuff for making candles, but never made any. I bought all the supplies for dried flower arrangements, but only made a few. I have bought all sorts of other crafts supplies and just never found my stride. I spent some time working in pastels when I was a youth (back in the dark ages) but that was so long ago the old drawings have probably turned to dust.

I am sure the other smithers out there can relate to getting lost in the making. That is what it was like for me last night.

I was in the zone.

Be sure - being in the studio has its ups and downs - we have good days and bad days - days when the solder flows and days when it doesn't......days when it flows but not where we want it.....or flows in previous joins when we don't want it.....

days when the sawblade wanders or each and every one breaks

I actually had a blade break last night - ok, probably more than one.

But this one broke and a piece of the blade flew off and went right through the skin of my finger!

how weird is that?

and is it weirder still that I had my camera RIGHT there?

or weirder yet that I thought of you all, grabbed the camera, and took a picture?
(does that blade make my finger look fat?

Now I need to remember to keep that far away from the pickle.

For the non-smithers, 'pickle' is a substance we use to clean off all of the remnants of soldering - glassy bits of flux, oxides, dirt, etc.

And its caustic. No matter what formula is used - commercial, home-made, 'green' or not....they are all caustic. They 'corrode' the 'gunk' off.

And make no mistake, it will BURN your owies.

So yea, last night I was zoning. Not that everything went perfectly, it didn't. But I was just zooming right along anyway. From one thing to the next, several pieces going at once. I know many of you get to enjoy that every day - I'm positively jealous of those of you who do this full time - but for me, its been a long time since I've slammed through a bunch of pieces at once.

I had the tunes on and was bopping along. I finished a pair of earrings, made a ring, started another pair of earrings.....

well, when I say finished I mean stones set - ready for polishing/finishing.

As many of you know - I am horrible at actually REALLY finishing things......

I leave them in various states of pre-finish most often -

still needing polish or oxidizing...or earwires!

but I'm getting better!

Partly because I've amassed more than enough personal jewelry.

I need to begin getting more of it out the door. (more on that later)

I have placed a moritorium on 'incoming' items though. I am on a stone buying freeze. I MUST use what I have at home.

However, that hasn't stopped the mailman, fed-ex guy, etc from coming to my door. Just yesterday I received a lovely Fretz chasing hammer as a contribution to the monthly giveaways at the Jewelry Artists Network. If you haven't entered the first one yet - DO IT NOW!

The Fretz hammer was so kindly donated for the JAN to use in their giveaways by Fundametals. Check them out - every time I look, I see new unique items and some of the latest tools releases, Not only that, but everyone I have spoken with who has used Fundametals has stated unequivocally that the service is THE best. And that certainly means a lot when we're buying online.

Dont' forget to enter the giveaway and the April EarthDay challenge!