Friday, December 10, 2010

New year, new skills?

This is a fun topic. I get to think about new techniques, new tools, materials and books to buy,  exploring new effects I haven't been able to achieve before in my jewelry.

For the December blogroll of the Aspiring Metalsmiths we are writing about what skill we want to learn next. I said it was a fun topic, but I have a bit of a problem focusing on one skill. I am just starting out as a metalsmith and well, my skills are limited, and I daily see examples of beautiful jewelry and wonderful techniques I someday hope to try. So I feel like a kid in a candy shop (want everything, but in the kid's case it can't get everything because the money comes from mommy or daddy, and in my case I have limited funds and limited time and limited possibilities of learning certain things by myself and with the tools I currently have or can obtain).

Anyway, it's just too hard to focus on one skill, I can't do it! So I have a list.

I'm embarrassed to say I have never riveted. People say it's not so hard, but I bet it's hard to get it all pretty, like in this beautiful pendant by Anna of AHeronDesign:

Hinges appear to be tricky. When soldering the parts together, things that should get soldered tend not to, and/or parts that shouldn't get soldered together do get soldered together, leaving you with an unhinging mess. But if you do it well, the result could be something like this beautiful locket by Jaime of BellaBijouJewellery:

Glass and its vivid colors has always fascinated me. Glass blowing, stained glass, glass mosaic, glass fusing, doesn't it all sound fun -sigh. Enameling is another glass technique and is as big, finicky and difficult as you want to make it. But maybe, for starters, I could try to make a few simple enameled copper discs. I would need to get a book, enamels in all the colors of the rainbow, some essential tools...

And I will be happy if I some day just know more about how a beautiful pendant like this one by Sue Szabo has been made:

I will post any advances on my side in these techniques in future blog posts, which will be a nice way for me to see how long it'll take me to try them all. :)

Finally, read all about my team friends' aspirations in the following blogs:


  1. those are cute prongs by Sue! nice blog!

  2. Love the post and your choices for examples are terrific!

  3. great Esme, I want to learn those too, especially the hinges

  4. You soooo can do riveting!! I'm sure you can do it all, but riveting only looks scarier than it is.

  5. I love yor list! I may have to borrow it after I master my new technique.

  6. Me too Esme! I just tried riveting for the first time recently and it's very do-able (of course I used a little cheater riveting machine, so it was super easy!) I highly recommend that. Enameling and making hinges are on my list as well. Too many things to learn and not enough time...

  7. PSST... I haven't ever done a rivet either! Maybe we can learn together :) I feel the same way you do. Definitely kid in a candy shop!

  8. I totally just saw this post Esme! You picked some great techniques to try - I am adding PMC to my list for 2011 :-)