Mimi and her girls

Mimi and her girls
Mimi and her girls

Monday, January 24, 2011

How Far Have I Come?

Our Aspiring Metals Team Blog Roll for this month was about showing our early work or even our first work. It made me start to think of how far I have come in such a short time, how much I've learned and how much fun I've had working with metal and creating jewelry that lots of customers own and love.

I think like most metalsmiths, I started with beading then went on to wire wrapping and creating with a combination of stones, gemstones and wire. Well, as much as I thought some of these pieces just rocked, they weren't what I really loved and wanted for myself. Take a look at this- I thought I was the cats meow when I first made this necklace for a New Years party I was attending!

 I called this my Champagne on Ice necklace and boy was I proud of it. Now all I see are mistakes, some messy wire wrapping on some of my stones and definitely not really me!
 But I jumped ahead a bit- my first work was just beading- so string it on, crimp the ends put a clasp on and you've got a necklace or bracelet. Well, it sounds easy, but when I started, my crimps popped off or I didn't know of "crimp covers" that made everything look nice. This is an example of when I conquered crimp covers!

So then I took a fusing class and got totally hooked on playing with the torch. How much fun this was, I could fuse circles, make shapes, bracelets, hammer things, this was great!! But not without pitfalls mind you- lots of melted metal that never fused, lots of bubbles in the metal that made lumpy circles. Ahh- the learning process can be so frustrating. But I finally conquered fusing and did lots of circles, squares, teardrops and ovals!
 This is one of my favorites to this day! This bracelet is fused fine silver which I did solder together. I was already itching to play with more fire!
Then came PMC- metal clay- this is just fine silver in clay form. It really has it's challenges, but so many possibilities. Again- took a class, had a ball- but realized to be really good at this, I would have to take lots more classes and spend an awful lot on a kiln and other supplies. So, I made a few cute charms and a pendant and decided I would put PMC on hold for just a bit. This is my first attempt at a pendant. This was not my design at all- it was made in a class given by Dina Alexander on Etsy  http://www.etsy.com/shop/dinaalexander  and it was her design she allowed me to make since I just oohed and ahhed over how beautiful hers was. And hers is sooo much prettier, but I still loved all the possibilities with texture and dimension.

So now on to my first metal work and the first challenge I ever cried over - I had hearts in mind for earrings. . I was so proud of myself for just being able to make something from scratch. I asked questions, watched you tube videos and made these earrings!
They don't really match- the ear wires would not solder on and stay put- what a mess! At least now I know you saw your earrings out together so they will at least match even if they aren't perfect!!

Now I think I can actually say I make some pretty things but still have a lot of challenges ahead with learning new skills and perfecting those I have under my belt! In fact this is my first attempt at rustic prong setting and I was very pleased with the results!!

I hope you enjoyed taking this little journey with me and I hope if you found my journey interesting at all, you will take a peek and read about some of the others on my team below!
Jessica - http://www.abellablue.com/blog
Clarity - http://www.thesquarepegnation.blogspot.com/
Claire - http://brightstar109.blogspot.com/
Stacy - http://formandfunktionaccessories.blogspot.com/
Pennee - http://allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/
Brandy - http://thefrogspond.wordpress.com/
Gloria - http://gloria-hemlockhollow.blogspot.com/
Joy - http://www.joypeckjoy.blogspot.com/
Autumn - http://www.autumnbradley.blogspot.com/
Gayle - http://www.thisartistsjourney.blogspot.com/
Sylvia - http://www.sylviaanderson.blogspot.com/
Esmeralda - http://jewelry-by-silverblueberry.blogspot.com/