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/


  1. It seems like we have all taken a similar path to metalsmithing starting with beading. Beading must be the kindergarten to metalsmithing where we learn the basics like how to get along with others.

  2. I knew you when you were still fusing!! Way cool post, it's been such a pleasure to watch you grow!

  3. Love seeing the older pieces! You have grown enormously this past year, I'm curious to see what you will make during this year. :)

  4. Oh Pennee, such an interesting journey! I so admire your metal clay work, it is something I just couldn't get on with. I am so loving your pronged jewellery, I too can't wait to see where your travels with metal will take you next!

  5. Pennee - I love seeing how far you've come since I've mostly known you when you were already quite the pro. You early work is really quite nice and much of it has your current aesthetic which is so elegant. I didn't know that you saw earrings out together - you're always teaching me new things and I am so grateful to you for your generosity. I am enjoying being on this path with you.

  6. Pennee, i really like the way the pendant hold the stone for the last work. Even the colour for the first necklace is good too, i dun even dare to make something like that. I find that though everyone is doing metalsmithing but there is individual style and theme^^

  7. Thank god for YouTube right? I feel like between our forum and youtube we can learn anything.

    I love the new pendant and think you picked a gorgeous stone!

  8. You've come such a long way! Great job on the new pendant!

  9. I even love your early beading!! Yup, you have come far in a short short while! Great new pendant!

  10. I think your jewelry looks great. Do not be so hard on your self. Your stone setting gives me some fun ideas.