So here I go, writing my first post. I have been talking about doing this forever, and now that my blog and my website is ready, I am having lots of doubts. Why am I actually doing this? There is still time to quit! But after all the time and effort my personal website developer (my son really) has spent on setting this site up for me, I have to give it a go.
While making my jewellery I always have these conversations going round and round in my head, and I always think, if I had a blog I could tell everyone about this or that, how I make this piece of jewellery, or about the new stones I received in the post today, or, or, or…. So that is why I have decided to start this blog, so that I can empty my head of all the conversations going on in there. I am not going crazy, I think, just a little pre-occupied!
I have promised myself that I’m going to try and keep this blog spontaneous, and to write whatever comes to mind. I am not going to worry about grammar and spelling, as I have never been good at that anyway. It is also no good for me to put spellcheck on, as I sometimes use some Afrikaans words in my writing, and spellcheck hates that! My first language is Afrikaans, so, people, please keep in mind that I am writing in my second tongue! (Just to explain, overseas people, Afrikaans is one of our 11 national languages in our rainbow country)(Or is it 13?)
I am worried that you might already be bored by my ramblings, so I have included a photo at this stage. This is the view from my “studio”. Just a pity about the burglar bars, but that is quite usual here in South Africa. My workspace (or BENCH as we call it in jewellery lingo) is not usually this tidy, but I cleared it especially for this photo. My studio is really just my ceramics studio, (which is really just a spare bedroom in our house) with a board covering my pottery wheel, and lots of nails hammered into the walls to hang things on. This was going to be used for just a one week project, but here I am, nearly 2 years later, still going strong. I am very hesitant to turn it into a proper studio, just in case it becomes too serious and people (like my husband) start to expect things from me.
If you want to be a real jeweller, people, you can never have too many hammers!
When I was in my early twenties, I attended a course in jewellerymaking at the Yeoville Recreation Centre. Those were the days when a lot of us still had flats in Hillbrow, Bellevue and Yeoville and recreations centres were still thriving. After about two years of making jewellery for only myself, I got bored with it and moved on to ceramics (again). In those days we did not have any internet, and I only had a few dusty old handbooks on “Jewellerymaking for the Beginner” so there was no visual stimulation or inspiration of one’s creative senses as there is today. Also, I did not have daughters who love my jewellery!
I had become very involved in ceramics, and in 2014 I was making a sculptural apple out of black clay for the National Exhibition and needed a sterling silver stalk to hold up the leaves of this apple. I thought I would have to commission a jeweller to do this for me, when, suddenly, I remembered the old box of jewellerymaking tools stuck away in the garage for over 40 years. When I opened it, I not only found the tools, but also sterling silver wire and plate. I later weighed and valued the silver at over R10 000! It was like winning the Lotto! And it had been lying in our garage for over 40 years!
However, I could not remember much of what I had learnt all those years ago, and joined a class nearby to learn the basics again. But it was like riding a bicycle, as soon as I lit my first oxyacetyline torch, it all came rushing back! Long story short, I made the apple stalk plus a bunch of other jewellery, and I have not stopped since.
Basalt Clay Apple with Sterling Silver Stalk
Just because you asked so nicely, here are my two other entries for the 2014 Nationals
No, I did not win any awards at the Nationals, but then, there is no accounting for taste, is there?
In my next blog I will tell you more about my journey in jewellerymaking, so if you are interested in receiving it, please subscribe by entering your email address in the box at the top righthand side.
Till next time ……….
And thanks for reading this to the end ………