A passion for silversmithing

STERLING SILVER : Noun, meaning silver of 92 and a quarter percent purity.....

Saturday, 16 July 2011

And so it begins....

May 2011

I am 52 and ¾, and seem to be at one of those moments in one’s life where something shifts and everything seems to come together, and you find something you didn’t know you were looking for, something that was missing that you didn’t know was missing until you found it. 

Life is good, I have a lovely husband, beautiful grown up daughters, a steady job, a home and garden that I love, but I am missing the busyness of being a mother to younger children. I like to be at home, pottering, doing things, but I don’t have enough interesting things to do. 

Since childhood I have been into 'making things', like my parents before me, from sewing clothes for my dolls to pottery, crochet, beading, painting, and I have a passion for photography which led to making greeting cads which I have done for the last 6 years.

And so I was looking at my favourite website Etsy.com, admiring some handcrafted sterling silver jewellery, wishing I had the skills to do that.   I googled silver workshops in Hampshire and found the Hampshire Design and Jewellery Studio. Next thing I know I have signed up for a one day course in silversmithing.

And basically that was it – I was absolutely hooked from the start. I loved every minute of that workshop, it was so completely absorbing and utterly satisfying. I could have cried when I completed my first piece, a simple hammered ring. I could not believe that the bent, misshapen blackened piece of metal would end up so shiny and gorgeous, and that I had made this happen (with a lot of guidance from the lovely Jane Shellard). Two more workshop days later, and I had learnt enough basic skills to do it on my own.  We learnt to saw and file, flux and solder, anneal and pickle, hammer and texture, punch and dome and sand, and sand, and sand and lastly polish, and polish, and polish some more.

We made rings and bangles, set a cabouchon in our own bezel setting, and I punched domed and textured a locket and matching earrings. Awesome.

All of it, awsome...




And that was the start of it.........

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