Designs, Skills, and Mishaps!
You may not have given any thought to this, but significant skill and effort goes into even my most minimalist jewellery. While some pieces are thoughtfully planned and developed ahead of time, some just sort of happen, and a few are even happy accidents (thanks, Bob Ross!). Regardless of how the design transpires, there are many more steps carried out to bring the piece to fruition. Selecting the perfect materials, determining what tools and techniques to use for cutting, sawing, forming, soldering, polishing, etc., and setting up for product photography are all a part of the process. Since silversmithing is my favourite thing of all the things to do, none of this even remotely feels like work. It does, however, eventually make me tired after a long day at the bench. It's almost surprising to me to realize how much work goes into this craft, but every minute and mistake is well worth it.
Just the other day I was soldering these new flower rings, and I realised that soldering has a way of keeping me humble. Setting up each piece can take quite a while... Before I even strike up the torch, I have to get everything into position which is time consuming and often includes dozens (dozens!!) of tiny micro-adjustments, just for the set-up to topple over or slip out of place. Then, if I keep the torch on the piece for just a nanosecond too long, the whole thing can melt or fall apart. It's really a skill that requires a lot of practice and an understanding of what to look for while heating the piece.
As I soldered the copper ball into the center of these flower rings (the final step of soldering), and just as I thought everything was going so well, two of them fell apart. This is usually when I realise that I need to take a break. So I paused for lunch, went for a short walk, and then repaired the rings. It's profoundly satisfying to fix my own mistakes and stand back to see the final product. There's a learning opportunity in every mishap, and I recently learned that these things happen to even the most skilled silversmiths.
As I navigate through all the trial and error situations of being a self-taught silversmith, I feel very proud of my skills and how far Inspiring Adornments has come. And this is just the beginning!