I know, I know. Twelve weeks of silversmithing lessons, and NO BLOG POST? (I need to write about Gemstone Identification as well; save that for another day.) What can I say? It’s been a busy
spring summer year.
I started taking weekly silversmithing classes in Medford at the beginning of May, from Bob Sharp, a local jeweler and lapidary (and fellow Roxy Ann member.) I don’t have any of my own equipment yet, so it gives me a chance to practice the process of making things, with some help and supervision. I’ve made several pieces now, and I definitely think I’m improving, though I have a long way to go.
Mostly what I’ve made are bezel-set gemstone pendants. Nearly everything has been a gift — I like making jewelry for other people, that’s nothing new. My first piece (left) was for my sister’s 25th birthday, and was probably more complicated than I should have attempted, but I think it came out well.
It’s been an interesting few months. Soldering is getting easier, but it can still be mysterious (did I say mysterious? I meant “insanely difficult”.) Sometimes, things don’t go as expected (example at right: partially melted/burnt bezel, top right.) Sometimes the stone isn’t really cut well for setting. Sometimes I file really well, and sometimes I file off part of my fingernail (in a bad way.) Some nights I get a ton done in three hours, and other nights (like this past Thursday), every tool I need to use is malfunctioning, and everything I do takes three times as long as it should.
I have two more weeks of class. At the end of August, my teacher is out of town for two months, so I’m finishing up two more pieces (a bracelet, and a ring), and then I’ll have a break. I’m trying (when I remember to bring my camera) to document the process, so you can see how it starts, what the middle stages look like, and how it comes out as a finished piece. Enjoy the photos!