I was thinking back about my journey in silversmithing and went looking for photos of early work. I was very surprised that my first silver jewelry piece was thirteen years ago. I thought it had only been about 5 years.
That was one of my Monet beads. At that time I decided that silver wasn’t for me. It didn’t come as easily as the glass did and I didn’t really have time to take on the amount of hours necessary to get up to speed because I had to keep selling beads.
I tried a few more pieces and then hung up my metal tools for a while. Five years later I visited my friend Chris in Wisconsin to help her with a class at the Bead & Button Show. After the show she gave me some pointers and when I got home I picked up the Little Torch again. This time I went a little crazy and tried to set into silver everything I could find in the studio.
I was having a lot of fun but I felt that something was missing. Mainly, it was my skill that was missing but, I kept at it and tried a few more.
Pretty ragged lookin, but that is how you get better.
This was the little area when I played with metal back then:
You really don’t need a big space to get it done, and it suited me just fine. Since that time I’ve upgraded the studio, a lot. As in, we built on another addition, and I got an official jewelry bench. I still use a lot of the same tools with which I started. The original plan for the new studio space was to be for additional torch stations, my jewelry bench, and maybe some woodworking equipment.
Guess where my jewelry bench ultimately ended up?
Right back in my old glass studio. I love how I can rotate my chair to access soldering and polishing equipment however I do feel a little boxed in. I’ve been brainstorming how I can feng shui it but the room dimensions are posing a challenge so I’m trying to get used to it. (you can click on these last two pictures to see a larger view).
I’ve since gotten rid of all of my glass and most of my glass tools and transformed the former torch station into a lapidary lab.