Monday, January 24, 2011

My first pieces

In this blog post I will show you my first jewelry pieces. There are first pieces though, and there are first pieces. Before I discovered the joys of metal clay and silversmithing I did some beading, but I found that very uninspiring and I have thrown away/ripped apart/recycled the few beaded necklaces that I made then.

So they don't count. I have mentioned before that my road to enlightenment started with metal clay so my first 'real' jewelry items are metal clay pieces. The nice thing about metal clay is that you can create interesting looking jewelry without much practice, and I actually sold one of the three items I made in that one class I took. Here it is:

It's a folded pendant, a classic design to start with, with a fiery orange CZ and a snowflake pattern. The other two items I made were a silver leaf pendant and a bead. Both are lying around my bench area somewhere waiting to be melted down or sent away with other scrap (please let me know if you have any good ideas for that bead - I like the pattern on it but I can't figure out what to do with it).

Now for silversmithing, I started out with a class here too. It was a 10x 2 hour class (I still go but I'm slightly more independent now) and my first item took me about 5 occasions to finish. And no, I did not take that into account when selling the ring. ;)

It may not look bad, and I felt it looked good enough to sell, but not everything turned out the way I wanted it to. For instance I had applied a hammered texture and then polished, and polished, and polished. In the end there was almost no texture left. The bezel was sterling silver and extremely thick (18g, 1mm), which I would never do now - unless the stone was harder and I had a hammer piece at home. My teacher only works in gold and platinum (works in silver when he does mock-ups) and the only stones that ever touch his fingers are sapphires, rubies and diamonds. So hammer setting a malachite... maybe not the best choice. But it turned out okay and I have remade the design and still like it.

For more first piece fun, check out the blogs by my Aspiring Metalsmiths teamies who have posted about the same topic:

Autumn -


  1. Hammer setting a malachite, hahaha that makes me laugh!!! Could you maybe turn the bead into the slide part of a moving bracelet or pendant? Esme it's been so much fun to watch you grow and you are doing it by leaps and bounds. I can't wait to see what you do next!

  2. What wonderful beginnings. Your work shows beautiful finishing even back then. I love looking at your jewellery so much.

  3. Nice! I polished the texture right off one of my first pieces too. :)

  4. Wish my first pieces looked that good!

  5. You work always looks so fresh and original, your old work still looks pretty to me even though your newer work is fabulous. Loved your little class story about your teacher- mock ups in silver- pooh on him!

  6. Esme, all of your work is beautiful, even your older work. Your pieces are inspiring.

  7. Esme, your works have been very earthy since the beginning^^ even the ring is very well done for the first few piece.

  8. I always love looking through your work. You got skillz woman!

  9. Wonderful!! All your items, even the early ones, are great! Wish I had your talent.