Mimi and her girls

Mimi and her girls
Mimi and her girls

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What Made Me Think I Could Become a Metalsmith?

When something grabs my interest and attention, I grab onto it with the passion of a terrier with a fresh new bone!  I had a friend who made very pretty wire wrapped jewelry, lots of baubles and shiny gems went into her every piece. I used to buy her work until one day she said, you can learn to do this yourself, let me teach you some basics. Well, that was the top of the whirlpool that drew me forever downward into the abyss. I had always made things, crafts were just something that were always in progress, but jewelry- who would have thought I could actually make that?
The lemon quartz and gold necklace above was the type of work I seemed to enjoy most. Lots of pretty stones and pearls and detail. Did I mdention I love stones and detail? What no one cold have explained to me as I was wrapping stones in wire was that every time I went somewhere to get more stones and wire and chain, I would see more stones and I would also see jewelry I loved that just couldn't be made with m limited wire wrapping skills.

Phase 2- I had to know how to set other stones, cabochons, faceted stones, rough odd shapes called to me. But where to learn? My same jewelry making friend suggested I look into Beadfest Philadelphia which always had classes and was not too unreasonably far from me. I found a class, not quite what I wanted, but it seemed like something a beginner could handle. Fusing silver wire taught by metal artist Anne Mitchell. The class was fun, wonderful and inspired me - look what I could do with wire when fire was involved!!!!

I made chains, and chain bracelets, chain dangle earrings, and links and more chains. Well, this wasn't what I was aiming for was it? I wanted to set stones! Around the same time, I decided I had way too much jewelry than I could ever wear so I started a shop on Etsy to try to sell some jewelry. My shop got stumbled on by the captain of the aspiring metalsmiths team and I joined up- knowing nothing but how to use a torch and fuse wire, I was prepared to look dumb and I was! I found some of the the most wonderful people on this team to help, lead, sympathize and teach me how to conquer all the pitfalls of learning to really hand fabricate jewelry and set stones.

So I fell in love with fire and hammers and pretty stones, I had to do something with that and I guess that's why I wanted to become a metalsmith and now, I feel like I'm about half way there. I can actually set most stones, make a decent ring, earrings and actually do some good custom work. I still have loads to learn, but I still have my team, I have found some good classes and I will continue plugging away since I firmly believe, you never stop learning when it comes to making artisan crafted jewelry.

I hope you will also take a peek and read about some of my wonderful teammates who have also got blogs on why they became a metalsmith and enjoy their stories also.

SilverBlueberry jewelry-by-silverblueberry.blogspot.se
SerpentsDance www.dancetothedoor.blogspot.com/
Marcus Berkner Jewelry berknerdesigns.blogspot.com/
Valerie @ LilyEmme Jewelry blog.lilyemmejewelry.com
Kalicat Jewelry Designs kalicatdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/
Kim Bell www.kimberlybelldesigns.blogspot.com
Beatriz Fortes www.beatrizfortes.blogspot.com


  1. I enjoyed your post, Pennee. It's interesting that we have similar stories.

  2. Great, Pennee! I recognize that about wanting more, all the time. :)

  3. Love this, Pennee!! Really good story of how you continued on this journey.

  4. Thanks for your insight into your jewelry journey, love it !
    And a big thank you for mentionning my blog