Despite my rocky start, I'm actually really excited about my second silversmithing class tonight. The first class . . . eh . . . I walked in and realized pretty much everyone had taken the class before and already had their tools and a project in progress. Then the first thing the instructor asked us to do was to draw a design for a cut out piece and if there is one thing in this world that I cannot do under pretty much any circumstances it is drawing. Then when we finally got down to using the jeweler's saw I couldn't get the hang of it right away and I busted through 4 saw blades (and the heel of my right hand) within about 10 minutes. HOWEVER, in the days after that crummy class, I've gone out and bought my tools which are all kinda cool, I've had a think about what gemstones I want to use for some of our pieces and had fun shopping for those, AND I brought my shiny new tools home and did some work on my initial piece. I'm pleased to report that I've made peace with the jeweler's saw and now that I've got the hang of the technique, I feel a little silly for having cried halfway through the class. Never claimed I wasn't melodramatic!
The cutout piece we're starting with is in brass and tonight we're going to learn how do file it for finishing, since the jeweler's saw leaves rough-ish edges. Then, we're going to break into our silver ingots (we're using INGOTS for the class, not premade wire or sheet!) and start on our second project, a spiderweb pendant kinda like this one. Then we're going to be making a ring similar to this one, except I'll be using a (REAL!) ruby (Boy's birthstone) and a peridot (mine). Then a nice, big, chunky cabochon ring like this, for which I'm probably going to use a labradorite stone (but I bought some lapis and a garnet as well!). Then, lastly, we're going to make a rose ring like this one but with a stone set into the center; I've bought an iolite stone for this project.
Needless to say I think with that parade of kick ass jewelry I just linked to, I'm pretty excited about learning all these new skills! I'm going to have to watch my tendency to get frustrated though . . . I've been making jewelry and selling it pretty successfully for over 2 years now but that doesn't mean I can expect to automatically be stellar at working with these new tools. I'm starting to get into the spirit of learning them though!
Random side note . . . OUR SHUTTERS WERE FINALLY INSTALLED!!! They went up Saturday and yep, they weren't exactly what we ordered and yep, a large chunk of our wall went missing when they were bashed into place but you know what? WE HAVE SHUTTERS. The "three week process" of ordering them and having them installed is finally, after THREE MONTHS, over. And they look pretty damn good. So, maybe not 100% enthusiastically, but can I hear a mildly amused "Yea! Shutters!"?